Author Archives: waynebarrar

Underground: Subterranean Economies and Ecologies

An exhibition by Wayne Barrar at Prichard Art Gallery, University of Idaho
On view 12 June – 1 August 2015

This exhibition presents large-scale colour works from two projects, both of which visualise the unseen. A selection from An Expanding Subterra investigates aspects of the commodification of underground space – architectural practices creating underground economies in raw or retrofitted subterranean spaces. A grouping of new works from his current project, The Glass Archive, uses photomicrography to delve into the fossilised and embedded ecologies of sub-surface deposits from the earth.


Work from the Hoxha’s Bunkers project is included in ‘History of Other Places,’ issue 15 of Photoforum’s publication MoMento, which is available online on Issuu. Additional information on Hoxha’s Bunkers, together with a slideshow of panels from a text/image collaboration, with text by David L. Pike and typography by Anna Brown, can be seen on the Other Projects page.

Young Country events

Events being held in association with the Young Country exhibition at Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, include:

  • 11am, Wed 5 Nov: Floortalk, Kerry Hines – ‘Fresh Views of a Young Country: The Photographs of William Williams’
  • 2pm, Sun 16 Nov: Poetry reading, Kerry Hines
  • 2pm, Sun 30 Nov: Floortalk, Wayne Barrar – on making the albumen prints for William Williams’s photographs in Young Country
    All welcome, entry free.

    Young Country albumen prints


    William Williams, Maori Head, Napier Harbour late 1880s.
    ATL, E.R. Williams Collection, Ref.1/1-025820-G. Realised as albumen print by Wayne Barrar 2014

    Young Country, an exhibition of poems by Kerry Hines with photographs by 19th-century photographer William Williams, will be shown at Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, 1 Nov-14 Dec 2014.

    Williams’s principal archive, held by the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, consists mainly of negatives. For this exhibition, Kerry obtained permission for me to make albumen prints of some of his images with the intention of presenting photographs in close material and visual proximity to the prints Williams would have produced in the 1880s. Unlike many current exhibitions incorporating ‘historical’ works, these are of comparative scale, tone and aesthetic feel to the work of that period.

    The process of making the albumen prints required a number of material and procedural decisions relating to issues such as choice of paper stock, coating methods and gold toning strategies – as well as the direct use of dozens of eggs (source of the albumen) and silver nitrate baths. While essentially true to historical method, my workflow included one distinctly current practice: the use of digital negatives, using the Quad Tone Rip system, which enabled me to use the Turnbull’s scans of the negatives, avoiding the need to deal directly with the archival glass plate negatives themselves.

    Further information on the show, accompanying events, and Kerry’s book Young Country (published by Auckland University Press, November 2014) is available at her website. As part of the events programme, I will be providing a talk on working with historical photographs and the albumen printing process at Mahara Gallery at 2pm, Sunday 30 November. Additional information will be posted nearer the time.

    A selection of my own work in albumen and albumenised salt prints can be seen here.

    Flora Photographica Aotearoa

    Flora Photographica Aotearoa is in its final week at Parliament’s Bowen House Exhibition Space. Curated by McNamara Gallery, it features work by 21 New Zealand photographers on a broad botanical theme. The exhibition will be shown at The Depot Artspace in Devonport during the Auckland Festival of Photography (24 May-12 June), and at McNamara Gallery, Whanganui (20 June-29 August).

    Wayne Barrar, Five ‘Torbay Dazzler’ specimen sheets from RHS trial, Royal Horticultural Society Herbarium, Wisley, England 2011 (from the series Torbay tī kōuka)