The Floating is photographer Stuart Broughton’s fourth solo exhibition and incorporates some previously shown works with new unseen images to create a narrative that contemplates the theme of floating.
Sometimes literal, often representative, Broughton’s images take the everyday and elevates it without losing that element of the utterly familiar, creating a haute quotidian from the scraps and shreds of living. Even a photograph of ducks [Black Ducks] or supermarket trolleys [Silver Dream Racers I + II] becomes darker and more menacing when interpreted by Broughton’s eye. The ducks are a flotilla of avian blackness against the oleaginous water and the silver trolleys slice across the two images and into the unknown.
The Auckland harbour bridge [Spume I + II] is caught through a hazy shroud of ubiquitous Auckland rain, unanchored to solid ground; a pristine '50s bach [The Dunes] surfs like sturdy little tug boat through the grass covered dunes, all the way down to the sea; and the disembodied feet of a child [Floaty Feet] drift like beacons of pale light in the darkness of water. In contrast Absence, White Empire, The Boatman and Crossing Kaiaua are softer, more dreamy: evocative of childhood, dawn starts and travelling. Those mythical Stygian adventures into the realm of the unknown: a place where free will and desire are set adrift and anything could or might have already happened.
These things, these journeys, are earthbound only by our imaginations and our own physicality, everything else is ephemeral. In The Floating we leave as we arrive, on water. In [Wake] the land is but a faint smudge, inconstant and shrouded on the horizon. Buoyant visceral and vital, these are old dreams and newly made moments. We’re like them, unfettered and unbound. For a while, for now, just floating. Not sinking.