18 October 2006
Childhood innocence and new nationhood reflected in
Carter Group Heritage Week exhibitions
Wonders of a Kiwi childhood in the mid 20th century, and a remarkable collection of portrait postcards of anonymous New Zealanders provide poignant views into a changing Kiwi society during the Carter Group Heritage Week 2006 – October 13 to 23.
The photographic exhibition Songs of Innocence provides an insight into renown New Zealand photographer and mountaineer John Pascoe’s personal life, as he photographed his four daughters throughout the 1940s and 50s, from childhood to their early teenage years.
On show at Our City O-Tautahi, corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard, until Saturday, 21 October, 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday, Songs of Innocence shows how Pascoe used the camera to express the obvious joy he felt in his children’s presence and his efforts to convey their love of life.
Born and educated in Christchurch, Pascoe later ditched his pursuit of a law degree for his greater loves of cross-country running, tramping, and climbing in the New Zealand outdoors. When he began photographing mountain scenes to help record easier routes as a mountaineer, he discovered a talent that Kiwis should always be grateful for.
It started him on a career path that would result in him taking some of New Zealand’s best photographic records of that major period of social change from the 1930s to WWI.
Pascoe landed a Department of Internal Affairs job to collate photographs for a series of publications to mark the 1940 centennial.
When the centennial series was complete, New Zealand was at war and as a Government photographer Pascoe began documenting experiences forbidden to others – Japanese prisoners of war, soldiers training in bush warfare and women in munitions factories. His images have become some of the best known photos of that era.
The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu exhibition “Facing an Era” shows a remarkable collection of early 20th century postcards of anonymous New Zealanders, capturing the faces of a newly forged nation. This show runs until Sunday, 12 November, 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday except, Wednesday, when the gallery is open 10am to 9pm, corner Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street.
These exhibitions are among more than 350 events being offered during the Carter Group Heritage Week 2006, October 13 to 23. The full programme of Heritage Week events is available at all Council libraries and services centres, and on line at www.heritageweek.co.nz or on request by phoning 941 8628.