10.98 Seconds Of Wellington Artists Coffee Table Book Release
The coffee table photo book titled 10.98 Seconds Of Wellington Artists is to be released today - and it's the first portrait of its kind of the Wellington art community by German-born photographer Lennart Maschmeyer. The official launch with live music by Justin 'Firefly' Clarke and attendance of portrayed artists (including many notable musicians) will take place at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Wellington today, Thursday 20 October.
Over the past two years, Lennart Maschmeyer has been working on a portrait of Wellington's thriving art community. The resulting book titled 10.98 Seconds Of Wellington Artists is the first work of its kind in Wellington. Its aim is to capture an authentic impression of the people creating and carrying the spirit of the city.
None of the photos are staged - they are taken from life. Combining portraits of the artists and musicians at work with shots in their personal spaces, they provide the viewer a glimpse behind the façade. They see a musician in trance on stage as well as having a laugh with his family or an artist in intense concentration as well as unwinding in his favourite cafe. It is an intimate view into not only the artistic community of New Zealand's capital, but the process of creating art in general.
The other overarching theme in the book is the mysterious nature of time and its relation to photography. Altogether, the amount of time captured by the photographs in the book adds up to just over ten seconds. Yet by each of these fractions of seconds, sometimes more may be revealed than in any written descriptions - the spirit of the people who make Wellington the unique place it is.
After growing up in Germany, in 2005 Lennart Maschmeyer left his home to travel the world. In 2007 he moved to Wellington to pursue a BA in International Relations at Victoria University. This autumn he will move to Oxford to complete a Master's degree in the same subject. Meanwhile, he worked very actively as a photographer. So far his work has been exhibited and published in Germany, Austria, China, New Zealand and soon Brazil-but this is his first book.
As a photographer, Lennart is entirely self-taught. Since conscious perception alone seems unable to capture the 'right' moments out of the incessant flood of events that we call reality, Lennart is convinced that subconscious feelings and premonitions are just as important in anticipating the brief flashes of balance that make a good photograph. He believes this perception can best be sharpened by experience.
The book features portraits of 55 artists, including numerous musicians such as Samuel Flynn Scott (The Phoenix Foundation), Warren Maxwell (Little Bushman, Fat Freddy's Drop, TrinityRoots), Jess Chambers, Ryan Prebble (The Nudge, Fly My Pretties), James Cyole (The Nudge, Newtown Rocksteady) and many more. The retail price is NZ$50 and it can be bought in every good bookshop within New Zealand.
Avenal McKinnon, director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, praised the title as "an intelligent, empathetic and unique record of the contemporary artistic community within the Wellington region."
And according to Warren Maxwell, it "truly captures a moment in the history of Wellington."
The official release will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 20 October at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in Shed 11 on the Wellington waterfront with live music by Justin 'Firefly' Clarke & The Firefly Orchestra and Fraser Ross. Visitors also get a chance to personally meet the artists portrayed - free entry.