Sport 15: white horse black dog
Nearly ten years on from their taking, ‘Moving Pictures’ seem like fleeting, unmediated truths; their grainy, uncomposed, sombre mood seems less to describe how the country looked than how it felt. In 1986 and 1987, for many the country felt bad. It seemed like the social fabric was becoming unglued. The economy was being restructured, unemployment was high, rising interest rates were forcing farmers off the land, and then the sharemarket crashed.
However, it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph and these are more about trying to recreate the essence of my own lost childhood than documentary truths.
These photographs, then, are dedicated to the memory of my father, who while estranged from the family still managed to take us on some great journeys.
Over the years of this project many friends and colleagues have contributed essential support, encouragement and advice. In particular I would like to thank Bruce Foster and Bruce Connew, who were great drivers, good companions and excellent spotters of black dogs.
I would like to express my special gratitude to Lucien Rizos, Ian Wedde and Peter McLeavey.
I would also like to thank the staff of the Wellington City Art Gallery for the exhibition in July 1990 and in particular the curator Greg Burke.
I am especially indebted to Gregory O’Brien whose enthusiasm revived this unusual project from the ashes and who along with Fergus Barrowman and Sport guided it into print.
Also thanks to all the writers whose special talents have made the book what I had always imagined. And finally, my special gratitude to Mary Macpherson, who never stopped believing.