An expanding source: Mareea Vegas

Last year a collection of local contemporary photographers put together a unique group exhibition by the name of Source (which you can read about here). The show was so successful they have returned in this year's Auckland Festival of Photography with a sequel, Sourced. Mareea Vegas, one of the exhibiting photographers, tells D-Photo's Point-Shoot blog how the collaboration has grown in a year, and what we can expect from the follow-up.

Mareea Vegas

D-Photo: Can you give us a brief outline of what Sourced is all about?

Mareea Vegas: Sourced is the continuation of last year's show, Source, and is again part of the Festival of Photography. For us it’s a great chance to create a beautiful space with friends and inspirations, and experience all the twists and turns that go with that process. With more of an open theme this year some of us are continuing on with concepts from the last show while some have gone in a really different direction for this show.

You've got some new photographers in the group this year, who are they?

We have two new group members this year, so yeah, six photographers in total. Gary Baildon is a very well known advertising and commercial photographer and Keryn Sweeney an upcoming portrait photographer.

Ian McRae

This is a sequel to your group exhibition Source last year, aside from the photographers what is it that connects the exhibitions?

It really is just about the people rather than a firm thematic connection. We loved every aspect of the show last year. Deb and Kenneth at Whitespace are amazing to work with, Bev and Julia [Festival directors] continue to support us and have given us a spot on the festival circuit again… We also have really loyal sponsors for the show. We really just wanted an opportunity to hang with all these awesome people again! We’ve kept all the core workings of this show the same with just a few added extras.

Sequels have a reputation for being weaker than the originals – is Sourced is a step up from last year?

Yeah it’s like second album syndrome… Nah, last year the show was a pretty perfect experience for us. So far as stepping it up, that’s not something on our minds. This year it will be different, that’s all. More artists, more sponsors, different works and more of an open theme.

Leon Rose

Are there any lessons you took away from last year's exhibition that will come to bear in this one?

Most work moves on opening night so make it a goodie.

How has your own work developed over this past year?

Well, it’s developed and changed a lot over the past year. I still feel in terms of my conceptual thinking that this process has remained similar. I have been in several circumstances this year that have forced me to push myself artistically, commercially and technically, and I’m so very grateful for those opportunities. Being involved in the recent Kingsize Scholarship has ignited change in my work for sure. My current series, Homage (the one you’ll see at the show), was hatched from our very first assignment. Luke (from Kingsize) urged me to continue to explore the concept and I’m so glad that he did because I’m in love with this series.

Laura Forest

What about the other photographers in the group, any dramatic changes?

Not really. We’re are all pretty settled into our styles and know our strengths. Leon is the absolute master of sublime landscapes, Ian’s spontaneous and creatively energetic black-and-whites have inspired me in my own work for decades, and Laura, well, her still lifes are flawless, as is she. The newbies are both dedicated and successful commercial photographers and are new to exhibiting, so it should be exciting to see the direction of their personal work.

Finish this sentence for me, "I would consider the exhibition a success if..."

…it turns out to be as enjoyable as last time.

Keryn Sweeney

What other exhibition are you really looking forward to at the festival this year?

Ayala Gazit – Was it a Dream at Silo Park. Her story has stirred me.

What's your favourite sequel of all time?

Oh, well that’s easily Aliens.

Gary Baildon

Sourced runs June 3-8 at Ponsonby's Silver Projectspace; come along for a drink at the opening from 5pm on Tuesday, June 3