[v]erge exhibition runs until 12th June: Highly recommended
Comment by Haruhiko Sameshima, Photoforum News
8 June 2010

On Tuesday night, as part of the Auckland Photography Festival, [v]erge – a group show of photographers consisting of Jenny Tomlin, Hamish Macdonald and Richard Smallfield opened with their recent works at the Satellite Gallery. The opening was an exceedingly lively affair well attended by the hordes. Satellite gallery has been establishing itself as an alternative (yet highly professional) space for the emerging and the fringe arts which may not find other, more mainstream, dealer gallery spaces.

This show is a well conceived grouping of three bodies of work, all responding to the artists' immediate surroundings and experiences, but each with very distinct personal takes and aesthetics on relationship to landscape. The images are expertly hung as separate groups so the viewer can be immersed in the vision of the each artist while moving along the gallery space.

Immersion is an apt description for the experience of each artist's work. Their subtle and layered attentions to details only unravels with acutely focused attention by the viewer: Tomlin's ordering of the seemingly chaotic cultures of nature. Macdonald's lusciously romantic timeless tableaux bouncing off his texts, finally Smallfield's meticulous attention to the formal cohesion of the pictorial space – made all the more fascinating for its digital origin of stitched multiple images masquerading as old vision of 2 ¼ square format camera.

Together, the exhibition offers a satisfying glance into the current state of the traditional languages of the photographic medium. Its ability ­(when executed by passionate expertise and sensibilities) to still be an effective carrier of personal insights and vision; to describe the surroundings and affect the viewers who are open to their narratives.

Highly recommended.

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