The often overlooked spaces of industrial areas and failed development sites are examined in Auckland artist Talia Smith’s first solo exhibition, Lead us outside, lead us out Quietly at Enjoy Gallery, Wellington. Through photography, video and a publication the exhibition examines what happens to such spaces when their intended function is abandoned.
Conditioned by economic decline, these sites now seem to have only a transitional present or future and have begun to be retaken by nature. These places are neither glamorous nor beautiful, but there is something within each overlooked and overgrown blade of grass that resonates.
Collecting together photographs, video and stories, Lead us outside, lead us out Quietly presents a fragmented archive of the forgotten and the imagined. Through documentation Smith hopes to reclaim these spaces; drawing out memory, constructing histories and searching for extant traces of life. Within each site, Smith salvages the potential for another life and another function.
By finding quiet beauty within these spaces, perhaps we will recognise and respond to the quiet, fleeting, often ignored moments in our own lives – before time passes on again.
By Faith WilsonRead online