The Creamy Psychology takeover

Yvonne Todd, Molvah Prayful One, 2007, light jet print 500x409, from series Christians
Told by an art teacher at high school not to pursue photography, Yvonne Todd ignored the advice, once high school was over and she'd done her time at a “dreary admin job”. With a world of possibility opening up to her, Todd experimented and learned the ins and outs of photography.

“It was an exciting time. I felt like I was unlocking the secrets of the universe — secrets I had previously been excluded from knowing,” she says.

Now, Todd has taken over both floors of the City Gallery in Wellington with her exhibition Creamy Psychology, which features around 150 of her photographs. She's the first artist to take over the entire venue with her work.

“To be the first artist with a solo exhibition that fills the entirety of City Gallery is a significant undertaking ... I haven't had a solo show on this scale before, so it's a momentous event in my career,” Todd explains.

Subjects of Todd's images include cripples, anorexics, cult members, showgirls, and tragic heiresses. Typically highly styled with the use of wigs, make up, false teeth, and costumes, the portraits have been described by Todd herself as being decidedly uncomfortable while others are comical or tragic.

As you flow from room to room you're confronted with images that delve deep into the realms of Todd's interpretation of, and the feelings she discovers about, commercial photography and fashion. It's less about making the viewers identify and feel comfortable with the images and more about confronting them with tragic scenarios. Todd herself has suggested that people may come away feeling uneasy from the exhibition.

The exhibition, curated by Robert Leonard, will showcase many photographs that Todd has captured since the 1990s, incorporating her love for glamour and collecting fashion pieces with a display of some of the vintage designer gowns that Todd has collected over the years, including gowns owned by the likes of Whitney Houston.

Creamy Psychology runs until March 1, 2015 at City Gallery in Wellington and you can read more about Todd and the exhibition itself in D-Photo Issue No. 64, on sale now.

D-Photo 64 out now

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The first issue of D-Photo for 2015 is available in stores this week, and it's packed with tons of inspiration and instruction to help you make the most of the beautiful summer days we find ourselves in the midst of.

Here's a peek at what you'll find beyond the cover:

Perfect moment: landscape legend Andris Apse talks about his latest work shooting the resplendent South Island and the way in which his exceptional upbringing has informed his visual style.

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Andris Apse

Nature's masterpiece: join travel and wildlife photographer Karim Sahai as he embarks on a voyage to shoot the icy landscapes of the Arctic and capture one of nature's most dazzling phenomena; the Northern Lights.

Tragic glamour: art photographer Yvonne Todd discusses the largest exhibition of her career and the influences that have shaped her distinctive, unnerving approach to studio portraiture.

The future of photography: we find ourselves in a time of undeniable upheaval and evolution for the art, production, consumption and business of photography – take a look at where today's trends may be leading us.

Stefan Simons

Stefan Simons

Rising stars shine bright: get a look at work from Aotearoa's top young photographers as judged by the latest edition of the Canon EYEcon awards.

Mama Africa: International travel photographer Chris McLennan shares stunning imagery created in one of his 'photographic happy places', Africa.

Landscapes on the go: local legend Jackie Ranken discusses techniques for creating landscape images from moving platforms, such as planes, trains, and automobiles.

Jackie Janken

Jackie Ranken

Reach for the sky: look at walking the fine line of HDR use to beat tricky lighting on location with Andy Belcher.

When you go pro – part one: If you've ever wanted to make money from your photography you're going to want to check out Paul Petch's tips to consider before making your move.

Anatomy of a portrait: decode a portrait set-up, light by light, with studio wizard Luke White.

Anton Maurer

Anton Maurer

Still waters: Mareea Vegas speaks with emerging photographer Anton Maurer about slowing down to shoot and putting real thought into landscape images.

Landscape quick fixes: Mead Norton gives handy answers to common landscape photography problems, as submitted by our readers.

DAM your photo collection: digital imaging guru looks at the unglamorous but very important arena of digital asset management.

Head to your local newsagent for all that and more, or pick up your copy online here.