Anne Noble - white shadow white shine

Exhibition: 27 February to 13 April, 2013

Anne Noble

Anne Noble

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For over 10 years Anne Noble, one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s preeminent photographers, has set her sights on Antarctica, undertaking three missions there and making a world tour of Antarctic centres in parallel. She has created an extraordinary body of work, exploring the cultural construction of place, her images challenging the traditional representation of the Antarctic as heroic, picturesque and sublime. white shadow white shine, may be seen as the culmination of this decade-long exploration, and as Noble’s ‘reverential and original homage' to Antarctica’s power and history.

In white shadow white shine Noble references the ghosts of human history in Antarctica - a human history integrally entwined with a place that has never been a site of permanent human habitation. By re-photographing an image of the explorer Scott and his team taken by Herbert Bowers and other photographs of Antarctic explorers on the march and dressed to shield themselves against the weather, she reflects on the tragedies of heroic age exploration.

Noble's project has been to critique and unpick cliched representations of the heroic and sublime often associated with the Antarctic, to expose the delicacies of exploration and exploitation. Wit has been a key tool to help us see what is really there – from the almost nothingness of whiteout to the colour and gritty reality of scientific work in a challengingly inhospitable environment. Her interest is in photography's unique ability to create and shape perceptions of landscape and place in the collective imagination.

The exhibition will also be an opportunity to launch two projects relating to her Antarctic works; Ice Blink published by Clouds NZ which sets imagery taken in Antarctic centres, aquaria and museums that study Antarctica with photographs of human encounters with the icy continent and the Antarctic imaginary; and These Rough Notes a collaboration between writer Bill Manhire, photographer Anne Noble, composer Norman Meehan and singer Hannah Griffin.

Anne Noble has been the recipient of prestigious accolades including the New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate Award for contribution to Visual Arts in 2010, the US National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Award in 2008, and the Creative New Zealand Antarctic Arts Fellowship in 2001. Her work features in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, Wellington and Auckland Art Gallery. Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions including Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, Queensland Art Gallery, 2010, Heat: Art and Climate Change, RMIT Gallery and The Ecologies Project, MUMA, Melbourne, 2009, and the National Portrait Gallery touring exhibition Reveries: Photography & Mortality, 2007.