Sunday, April 27, 2008

Writer forges creative link with photographer

Tina Shaw

By Gregory Wood

The creative link between photography and writing came under scrutiny at Auckland Art Gallery on Sunday, April 27, when author Tina Shaw was keynote speaker at the Laurence Aberhart photographic exhibition.

Shaw has written five novels and co-edited a book with Dr Jack Ross. For Shaw, every Aberhart print represented a short story, and proceeded to rattle off with ease a handful of plot scenarios with any print she cared to focus on. Shaw added that sometimes the detail in the black and white prints is so fine that gallery staff provide magnifying glasses for visitors to borrow. Better still, take your own to study the work of this reclusive photographer, aged 59, who lives in Russell.

Photography has always been the elusive ‘other’ in the arts because of the difficulty placing it in a niche, as it traverses art, media and documentary. But for one small hour in the centre of Auckland photography and writing melded as one.


Kathmeista said...

Thanks for this Gregory. I particularly enjoyed your comment that photography is hard to place as it crosses literature, art and documentary. I have often thought this myself - I'm not much of a photographer but I do enjoy wondering around snapping a few shots when have the time (normally when in Taiwan) and I have found that sometimes a well taken photo can tell a story that I want to express better than if I tried to write it. So personally I have ceased to think of them as competing modes of expression as I once did, and now aim to have each speak to the other where possible.

A relevant example to this course re:photos? The cover of Dirty Work. For me it captured the essence of the book perfectly.

Gregory Wood said...

Thank you for your comment Kath. Tina offered something for us as students even if it may have been outside the paradigm of the blog.

Jack Ross said...

Yes. I don't know if Tina mentioned that she worked as a professional photographer before she became a writer. I don't know if she still perseveres with it, but she certainly has a fine eye.

I learnt a lot from working with her on the fiction anthology.