Chris Corson-Scott, b. 1985.
Chris Corson-Scott’s upcoming solo exhibition at Trish Clark Gallery (a Signature event for Auckland’s 2016 Festival of Photography) “We passed the setting sun,” draws its title from a poem by famed American poet, Emily Dickinson. Just as she meditates upon Death’s leisurely, though inevitable, procession through time, Chris Corson-Scott captures places that carry quiet significance as historic sites. Revealing a history all but invisible except to the keen observer/researcher bearing witness, Corson-Scott draws out the impossibility of fully preserving the past, while playing with this dichotomy between history and the present, typically mantled by remarkable light.
Producing evocative images that also speak to the essence of photography as a medium bound to the attempt to arrest the fleeting moment, CorsonScott remains resolutely insistent on the use of analogue film and ‘oldfashioned’ 8×10 view-camera as critical to the aesthetic of his work, enforcing a patient and disciplined approach to time-based image-making.
Emblematic of Corson-Scott’s approach, the striking lighting of Cliffs and Rockfalls Awhitu Peninsula (2015) is not manipulated, but is indeed the setting sun. Standing at the foot of crumbling cliffs on the Awhitu Peninsula at the mouth of the Manukau Harbour, photographer Mark Adams is peering up in the direction of a rockfall. What isn’t apparent in the image is that the cliffs represent the remnants of what was once a major Maori agricultural site that has now largely eroded into the ocean; Corson-Scott and Adams each bearing witness to both the land and the process of time’s passage.
Corson-Scott has exhibited widely in Auckland, and internationally. Exhibitions include Kinder’s Presence (2013-14) at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki; History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum (2014) at The University of Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery; Photo 14, Maag Halle, Zurich, Switzerland; My Place (2013) Pingyao International Photography Festival, China; Recent Auckland Photography (2013) at North Art; and solo exhibitions at the artist-run space Snake Pit, New Photographs (2012); and Photographs (2011) at Wallace Art Centre. With art historian Edward Hanfling he is the co-author of Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography (Photoforum, Auckland: 2013).
His work is represented in key collections: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki Auckland Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.