Jenny Tomlin


Landscape moves me to photograph. The act of photographing it puts it into a more coherent language, like experiencing music visually - the physical site being secondary to the emotional state it evokes.

Particularly rich are fringe areas of land, buffers between industrial and more conventional tended landscapes of residential suburbia.

These places no longer have an obvious use or design and are left to revert. Being in these spaces there is a sense of invisibility and also an unsettling quality of metamorphosis - into something familiar, yet alien. Humanised spaces previously, they are no longer maintained but now in the process of adapting from, then erasing our presence.

My work explores this change from order to disorder, to chaotic complexity.

I'm interested in looking harder at what's around me, provoking a response to the mundane.

[Skip to Jenny's photos]

Shadbolt Park (Exhibition: [v]erge)


Jenny Tomlin (Urquhart) was born in Auckland 1962. Initially going to Elam in 1980 to study painting she was moved by the way photography could say something so profound and powerful about the landscape. Influenced by the work of an American photographer - Paul Caponigro, then Anne Noble’s Wanganui and Fay Godwin’s Land all showed to a greater or lesser extent, the emotion behind the lens.

The darkroom increasingly grew in importance to making an image work. Printing became a logical choice of career on graduating, initially at Real Pictures in Auckland then alternating with tramping and photographing in the South Island. She continued overseas in Australia, Asia and London before returning to Auckland in 1990 working as a black and white printer.

Since 2002 she’s been running a commercial darkroom business from her home in Green Bay. To continue to offer archival high quality silver gelatin prints is the passion driving this business. Working in partnership alongside photographic artists as well as being able to pursue her personal photographic practice is particularly important.

Tyre Angel (Nirvana Park series)

Selected Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions
1984 - The Other Land, Exposures Gallery, Wellington.
1985 - The Other Land II, Real Pictures Gallery, Auckland.
1989 - Journeys, NZ High Commission, London.
1992 - Journeys II, Nathan Homestead, Manurewa.
1994 - Off the Track, Massey House Community Centre, Mangere.

Group Exhibitions
2004 - Consider the Lily, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Henderson.
2005 - Waitakere Artists and Landscape, Aotea Centre, Auckland.
2006 - Photo-Synthesis, Signal gallery, Swanson.
2006 - Uncertain Space, (pinhole work) Corban Estate Arts Centre, Henderson.
2007 - Photo Forum 33, Artstation, Ponsonby.
2009 - Slow Light (pinhole work), Spiral Gallery, Lopdell House, Titirangi.

Email Jenny

The Lion in the Window (Nirvana Park series)