Photography exhibition explores what's home

Photography exhibition explores what's home

The Auckland Festival of Photography launched on Thursday evening and the main venue -- a silo on the waterfront -- is being touted as a world class venue that'll pull artists in from around the world.

The exhibition there aims to shine light at a big issue Auckland faces, asking: what is home?

Silo 6 used to be a driver of Auckland's industrial powerhouse but now it's the heart of its cultural renaissance.

New York-based Australian artist Simone Douglas, who's curating the main exhibition in Auckland's Photography Festival, would come back in a heartbeat.

"I think this is the most amazing space I've ever worked in anywhere in the world," she says.

"What it does is it gives perspective and it gives peripheral vision, so you can have your own discreet space, and then you can stand in another area so one image intersects the others. So you can have a conversation between the spaces and the artists in the exhibition."

Artists love the building's history, its curvature and its sheer height.

"For us in the Australasia-Pacific, the connection between land and sky is so crucial -- the connection to our history, our history on the ocean, our sailing history, our industrial history," Ms Douglas says.

"So we're really interested in working with the legacy of this space in relation to our idea of home."

Home is a hot topic for Auckland and for international artists like Shan Turner-Carroll. The Australian living in Brooklyn carried a mirror across New York following the sun and moon to capture their reflections, as if the sky itself were his home.

"It's one of the hardest physical things I've ever done," he says.

"[But it's] the idea of journeys, and wanting to create a piece that was site-specific to New York, and looking at ancient ways of navigation."

Turner-Carroll lived in a shed with a woodfire stove for years while his family built a home. In one photo he's the traveller, carrying his home on his back like a one-man band.

"[It's] the idea that you take your home wherever you go, whether that's a physical thing or a spiritual thing or philosophical idea."

But elsewhere in the exhibition, homes are illusions.

Photography as mirror and a window, reflecting the real and the artificial, it's all on display at the world class venue at the centre of Auckland's Photography Festival.