chch unseen, part one

unfashionable photographs of christchurch in the 80's, or travels of a black dog from robert mcgavin



i came across this thin book of black and white photos at a used book shop recently. it seems to have been printed at a small local press and is now out of print. the photos have a very slice of life verite quality. "unfashionable" perhaps from a 1990's perspective, but also quite gritty. there is a sort of stylized beauty that emerges underneath the raw candid quality of the images. and the 80s aesthetic which has of course become fashionable again makes the images feel more relevant than dated.

an excerpt from the introduction:

Please enjoy the pages, even the few empty ones, and find an image of christchurch more real than coloured tourist booklets. savour the qualities of black and white, see the beauty and pain in faces, the contrasts of innocence and age, the hugeness of skies, the shadows, the clarity of light, the many things which make up christchurch in the 90's.

photographs by robert mcgavin, published by misadventure press, 76 hawke st, chch 9, 1988