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Otago Museum exhibitions show professional and amateur photography at its best

Otago Museum report -- 12/06/2007

Mainland - Landscapes by Andris Apse

Journey through the diverse landscapes of the South Island and discover the richness of an extraordinary place. One of the World's finest landscape photographers, Andris Apse captures the beauty of the Mainland in this first major exhibition showcasing his outstanding work. Comprising 56 inspiring landscape and pastoral scenes, Mainland is an awe-inspiring show, evoking an emotional response to the pure beauty to be found in New Zealand. This evocative exhibition will encourage visitors to journey out and experience our breathtaking surrounds. From Queen Charlotte Sound to the magnificent Otago Peninsula, through the vast beauty of Central Otago and stormy seascapes in Southland, this exhibition spans the length of the South Island, highlighting some of its most alluring natural locations.

Andris not only creates phenomenal photography, but also carries in his personal life a story equally as compelling. Born in 1943 into the wartime chaos of Latvia, Andris and his mother Kamilla escaped to live as refugees in Germany. His father, Voldemars who was serving in the Latvian army had disappeared and been presumed dead. Meanwhile, Andris and his mother took part in a resettlement programme for refugees and shifted across the world to New Zealand. Making the Bay of Islands home, Apse reached the age of 18 and seized an opportunity that changed his life. The Forest and Range Experiment Station sent Apse into the natural wilderness of Fiordland, and a love affair began. Andris' passion for photography developed through his desire to share these surreal landforms.

46 years after Andris' father was presumed dead a letter appeared at his door. His father, as well as two aunts were still alive in Latvia - a miracle. Andris and Kamilla immediately journeyed back to their homeland to be reunited with the long lost family.

Since 1983, Andris has been a fulltime landscape photographer earning a name in New Zealand and beyond. His images have been featured in acclaimed local and international books and publications, in New Zealand promotional material, and won major accolades and awards around the world.

Two of his works, showing George Sound in Fiordland and looking onto Mt Aspiring, decorated Air New Zealand jets as backdrops to Lord of the Rings characters. Over the past 30 years, Andris broadened his horizons, photographing the landscapes of Siberia, India, New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands, Macquarie Island, Chile, and more recently Antarctica.

And now, a major exhibition of Andris'favourite South Island works - the result of over 30 years of true dedication and the cream of thousands of captured moments in the country he is proud to call home. Mainland - Landscapes by Andris Apse is presented in partnership with the Otago Museum where it began in May before travelling to other venues in New Zealand.

This exhibition will make every Mainlander proud of the place they call home - and encourage New Zealanders and international visitors alike to appreciate why we truly are 'God's own country'.

In the words of Andy Dennis, essayist for several of Andris' books, "Perhaps as others work through these images, they too will be reminded of the years of patience required to assemble a collection as memorable as this, and how lucky we are that people exist who are prepared to devote their lives to enable the rest of us to see, by the simple act of opening a book, what is beautiful and moving about landscapes and light."

You will be able to view this exhibition in the Special Exhibitions Gallery at the Otago Museum until 26 August 2007 FREE!


Take some time out this week to spend in the company of Andris Apse, one of the World's finest landscape photographers. Running in conjunction with the outstanding exhibition, Mainland - Landscapes by Andris Apse, this is an excellent opportunity for you to meet the man himself and take home some insider's tips to strengthen your own photography skills.

Friday 15 June 7.30pm
Make a date for the evening of Friday 15 June and discover how Andris creates such phenomenal photographs. Enjoy a special evening opening of the exhibition followed by an insightful presentation. Learn about Andris'photography career as well as his equally compelling personal experiences. This event will make every Mainlander proud of the place we call home!

Saturday 16 June 2pm - 4pm
Join Andris the following afternoon for an engaging workshop. Be inspired by his considered and carefully executed works and discover the skills and techniques you will need to capture your own stunning landscapes!

"We are delighted to share the outstanding skills of Andris Apse with photographers of all skill levels in our community," says Helen Horner, Director - Programmes. "Through this presentation and workshop, visitors will learn and be inspired by one of the world's best!"

Landscape Photography Presentation
Friday 15 June, 7.30pm, Mainland Exhibition, FREE!
Nibbles and drinks available for purchase from 7pm

Landscape Photography Workshop
Saturday 16 June, 2pm - 4pm, Barclay Theatre, FREE!
Bookings Essential - Limited places
Please contact the Information Desk ph 474 7474

Taiaroa Head
Andris Apse - Taiaroa Head
Photo source Andris Apse
Click here to view a larger version

Wild Natives Valley
Andris Apse - Wild Natives Valley
Photo source Andris Apse
Click here to view a larger version

Mount Titiroa
Andris Apse - Mount Titiroa
Photo source Andris Apse
Click here to view a larger version

Otago Wildlife Photographer of the Year Announced

Winners have been announced in the 8th Otago Wildlife Photography Competition. Dunedin student Callum Bruce (18) has won the coveted title of "2007 Otago Wildlife Photographer of the Year".

His stunning photograph, Mosaic Morayy, taken underwater in the Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve, captivated the judges and won him $1500 of photographic accessories from Jonathan's Camera & Video.

The judges' comment
"This photo stood out amongst the other entries. It has great colour and composition. The technical difficulty of the shot gave it added value when you take into account the host of problems underwater photography poses, such as available light, water visibility and a challenging subject."

Record entries
Competition was fierce this year with a colossal 1,100 entries submitted, surpassing last year's record by over 300 entries. Again, the "Animal" category was the most popular, accounting for nearly half of the entries.

The images entered in both age groups and all categories were submitted by Otago photographers keen to interpret the themes in innovative and diverse ways. The organisers are thrilled with the standard of entries and note that the competition has become an annual challenge for local amateur photographers to showcase their talents.

The competition is presented by Otago Museum in association with Natural History New Zealand and Jonathan's Camera & Video.

The winning entries along with a selection of chosen entries are on display in the Otago Museum Nature Galleries until 22 July 2007.


14 years and under

Winner: Shanna Verhoef, "Carnivor"
Winner: Libby Atkinson, "Do I know you?"
Human impact on the natural environment
Winner: Phoebe James, "Bucket of Guts"

15 years and over

Winner: Katrin Geist, "Curlz"
Winner: Callum Bruce, "Mosaic Moray"
Human impact on the natural environment
Winner: Arnie Elbers, "Forgotten Agony"

Jury Prize
Marc Chistos, "Having fun at any age"

Callum Bruce, "Mosaic Moray"

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