Wellington, NZ, yesterday: This former animal testing station lies broken and abandoned after twenty odd years. Theres few clues left as to what experiments went on here- they’ve disappeared like the unfortunate animal test subjects destroyed in the incinerators.
New York, February 2004: On my way back to Dublin, I stopped in New York… There had been a blizzard but the Empire State beckoned… Completed in 1931 in distinctive Art Deco style- its roof height at 381 meters (with antenna included 443.2m high)- it’s still one of the highest buildings on the planet- at number 22.
March, NZ, 2013: An excerpt by renowned New Zealand Art/Photography reviewer Peter Ireland, on my latest exhibition Stilled Life.
Photography’s documentary tradition that Cunningham’s images add to has never been very fashionable in terms of art collecting, for pretty obvious reasons. Why tolerate a stone in your shoe when you can simply buy another pair? Documentary may not be fashionable, but it’s never been irrelevant, and it survives with a vigour beyond the needs of any imprimatur from the art world. Its needs are not the needs of art historians, collectors, careerists or auctioneers.
Mount Crawford Prison, Wellington, NZ, Nov 2012: Mount Crawford (or Wellington prison) was closed in mid November 2012 after 85 years of operation. The jail on Miramar Peninsula was built by prisoners themselves in 1927, using concrete blocks made with sand from Wellington’s South Coast. The weekend after the closure, the Department of Corrections opened the doors to the public for a rare opportunity to view the macabre and historic features of one New Zealand’s oldest and most notorious prisons. I arrived just as the last public were allowed access, so found the place virtually void of life. I didn’t hang around long in case I was inadvertently locked in forever… There’s an interesting video here.