syncretismassociates: Blog en-us (C) Michael Perkins (syncretismassociates) Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:50:00 GMT Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:50:00 GMT syncretismassociates: Blog 120 64 The Hinterland - October 2015 I'm just writing the wall-text for my segment of the show at the moment. It's going to be really good though, everyone has made strong work and the theme has worked well for us. I'll put the wall-text here shortly. I think that I won't comment much more than that till after the show as I think that talking with people will be helpful for my processing.

(syncretismassociates) Sun, 27 Sep 2015 01:05:28 GMT
Moments etc group invitational show I'm currently in a group invitation show at Matchbox called Moments | Spaces | Time | Places (link) (or something like that, I think that all involved have got a little tired of typing it!). 

Primitive markings2015, digital c-type print A kind of peace2013, digital c-type print The longer the note was on the board the less sun bleached the board got2013, digital c-type print

They have hung The longer the note was on the board the less sun bleached the board got 90 degrees clockwise, but I have a feeling that it might actually be better that way, I'm not above responding openly to chance! I recently showed my sister a test print for a show in October and had it upside down for several minutes before correcting this, and she politely pointed out that it was not as good the 'right' way up. So be it.

There are some nice things in the show, including my friend Zara Pears showing some more of her boundary-pushing portraiture, do pop along and see it! The show title made me think about how I don't tend to treat bits of time or space as discrete lumps, rather I often compress them together. Even the light-painting work from a few years back was about the past and present together, and also they were long periods of time compressed into a frame. It's interesting. Still no snapshots for me!

The The Hinterland show in October is going to be great. I still have much to organise for my contribution, but it should just be manageable. It's going to be all-new work for me, and a bit of a branching off.

(syncretismassociates) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 09:35:00 GMT
The C word I accidentally called my pictures Conceptual the other day. It was a slip of the tongue, your honour, and no offence was intended. I may be ideas-driven, but I very much care about how things look, which I think disqualifies me from that particular race.

I went to a talk about Constructed photographs last year. I hated the subtitle "Artists Talk Process", process fetishism does seem to be becoming the new way to justify art photos. But as a catchall term Constructed is handy for me, as at least it stakes some ground out. The Photoforum formulation of "photography as a means of expression", seemed a little limp when I joined but now I'm seeing what language walls they were backed up against at the time.

Capitalism. Just kidding. It's not the 70's still... 

Charlotte Cotton's book is really useful to me. Otherwise I wouldn't have found out about Hannah Starkey as quickly. It also uses the Contemporary word, which is entertaining.

Chagall in Christchurch. Now, there's an idea. My childhood is certainly is as gone as his was! Found out today that my degree will not be offered from next week. Scarcity drives up value, right?

C*nt. Hah, you didn't think I would, did you? And I didn't. Where has shock value moved to? I have a package to forward on.

(syncretismassociates) Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:20:21 GMT
Respite, in a sense Tomorrow evening my friend Zara Pears and I are opening a duo show called Respite, at Matchbox Studios

The blurb for my bit of the show says it pretty well, I reckon. It's:

"Michael Edge-Perkins is a Christchurch-born, Wellington-based photographer of objects. He works in a by-turns warmly and cooly haunted visual space that is bounded somehow by geometry, folk music, still life painting and psychology. His contribution to Respite looks at ways of bringing the outside to bear on what physically, mentally and spiritually troubles us.

You can see more of his work at, including his 2013 solo show at Matchbox, These things happen, which explored what it could mean to make folk photographs, and his contributions to the Matchbox group shows Jukebox, Metropolis, and View."

For me it's a bringing together of some older works that I've wanted to show for a while but hadn't found a meaningful way of grouping them. Zara's recent work about metaphorical escape from restrictions got me thinking about escapism, not in the usual somewhat pejorative sense of that word but in the sense of seeking relief from what's inside.

It's been a challenging year for me in terms of artistic production. I have two injured wrists, so camera handling and long writing spells have been out of the question for much of the time. This has however allowed for a fair whack of introspection and some new direction has come from this. Not too much to share as yet, sorry.

Here's the poster and my pictures from the show.


(syncretismassociates) Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:18:05 GMT
New shoots?  

Note use of the word shoots in the correct sense of new growth, rather than the debased use that combines art with speed and violence.


(syncretismassociates) Tue, 22 Apr 2014 03:24:54 GMT
View group show at Matchbox View is a group exhibition curated by Matchbox Studios, starting tomorrow and running for a month. Because I like January shows, and moreover like a genre challenge, I volunteered seven pieces for the show. They are below.

The first one is, in person, 2m tall. I like working at scale. This one can draw you in with the small details, and then repel you with how poor a fit it is with any convention of landscape. This was made for the View show in particular.

My other contributions were in my back catalogue - I didn't think that I made many landscapes, but as always statistics challenge perception...

The show has the tagline "What's your landscape?" and I find that very fitting. My landscape doesn't play nicely.

They have not been exhibited before, although I had the honour of the second being the inside cover of The Eastern's third album Hope and Wire. Technically it is my most widely promulgated work!

All are for sale at the gallery and online for a month afterwards. They are editions of five.

DS4_5223DS4_5223 DS2_4850DS2_4850 DSC_8300DSC_8300 DS2_2654DS2_2654New Plymouth holiday 2011 DS2_2608DS2_2608New Plymouth holiday 2011 DSC_4865DSC_4865 Untitled-1 copyUntitled-1 copy

(syncretismassociates) Mon, 13 Jan 2014 08:51:49 GMT
Joanna Margaret Paul show

JMP has been a name in articles and books, and then very occasionally as a surprise presence in shows - I think Photospace was the last time that she snuck up on me.

You will not be surprised to learn that the picture that most grabbed me was the last one as shown here at Peter Ireland's review of the show. Shimmeringly intimate, and that colour is delightful. Do feel free to buy one of those for me. Thanks. 

The aggressive framing and formalism, the relentless pursuit of an idea, the touches of humour, the worldly domesticity - very inspiring.

Huge kudos to Robert Heald Gallery for bringing these to light.

(syncretismassociates) Thu, 24 Oct 2013 09:25:05 GMT
August 2013 show - Metropolis And below is the picture itself.

The shape of things to come (Christchurch 2010)


(syncretismassociates) Fri, 30 Aug 2013 23:50:13 GMT


(syncretismassociates) Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:45:00 GMT
Post-show-reflection 1 I have a lot of de-briefing with myself to do about the These things happen show. It was a success in almost all aspects, certainly in more than I expected. 

But the real question is the real question - can you make a folk photograph? I'm still not sure. Ten people came in to work with me on making one, I think that most of them had seen the show beforehand (but I forgot to ask) so that might indicate that how I see things has some resonance. All of the ten had a story about a family member (eight ancestors, two other). I didn't anticipate this, although now it's astoundingly obvious that this would be the case. Family is the most direct way that people's pasts exist in the present. 

This might perversely re-assert my original thinking on this body of work, which was to try and find a role for the art photographer in a world of easy nostalgia filters. I say this because there was no family or biography in the main show, at least not intentionally. 

I will be reflecting some more on the show over the next few weeks and will post again as I get a better distance on it all. 

I am also going to investigate whether there is interest in other centres in having the show. If you could help me with this I would be most grateful!

(syncretismassociates) Mon, 18 Mar 2013 10:04:09 GMT
These things happen show announcement  


(syncretismassociates) Tue, 29 Jan 2013 04:45:00 GMT
2013 - fitter, happier, more productive What have I been up to?

These things happen will open on 5 March 2013 at Matchbox. It's been almost two years in the making (would have been more like 18 months but life and death got in the way). In many ways I've really gone out on a limb with this one, and in a few ways I really haven't. Tableau/still life is probably pretty tame-seeming (but I do feel a bit pleased that Fiona Pardington and Ben Cauchi have turned up in this genre a bit over the last few years). But for a quiet back-room person like me, putting my actual name on a poster, and putting on events where I'll be working artistically with people I've never met feels like a tectonic moment.

My hope for the show is that it will do people emotional good, and I trust that there will be kindness in the response to it. There's a Facebook page here where you can see more of the day-by-day stuff associated with the show and see how to get involved in the events attached to it. It's in the Fringe Festival, so there will be more attention on it (probably) than I initially planned, so I am hopeful that some future collaboration opportunities come out of it (hint, hint)

I also have a piece in another Matchbox group show opening 22 January. The show is called Jukebox and is a medley. I'm very pleased with my piece Safety orange # 13, 9, 7 - as an abstract it's visually pretty different from the other work, although to me there is a strong continuity in everything else about it. It's the largest print I've ever worked with and there may be some installation elements to it as well, so it's exciting new ground for me. I fear that large-scale printing may have become addictive!

Finally, I will be back in group mentoring with Jordyn from March onwards. I am hoping that feedback from the two shows will give me some more pathways to explore in 2013. 

Oh one more thing, here's a picture of a journey. This blog is a bit of one - it's swung between news, silence and limp introspection but this year will be more of me thinking aloud about my visual world. [Old posts have now been restored as well]


(syncretismassociates) 2013 Still lifes These things happen abstract news Tue, 08 Jan 2013 01:24:35 GMT
Paper makes a return I made a book with the US website I thought that a printed ‘portfolio’ would be handy to have around (ok, I had a coupon!).

And then I found out that I could put this widget here and people could buy their own copies. Yes, well. Let’s not get too carried away. But if you were mad enough to, there it is.

It’s been quiet on this blog as all my photo work is going into a new project. It’s coming along nicely, but is not ready for too much visibility as yet.


(syncretismassociates) Genre-challenged Wed, 17 Aug 2011 01:00:56 GMT
Teaser Here’s a sample of what I’m working on at the moment.

(syncretismassociates) Genre-challenged Still lifes Mon, 25 Apr 2011 00:44:28 GMT
Hunkering up, hunkering down Dearly beloved, I have gathered you here today to say “gosh, it’s been a while” and “how shall we avoid this again?” Jan-Feb was really busy with the exhibition. In the end I enjoyed it – the learning about how to work as a group to do an immense number of tasks was invaluable. I was satisfied with two of my three pieces (and sold the one I ended up not liking, so that was really handy!). You can see a Facebook replica of the whole show here.

Now, it’s onto another project. I’m not quite ready to talk about it yet, but I’m getting intensive mentoring through till August so will be ready to talk about it reasonably soon.

I have also been reading and, unlike most of the reviewers, generally enjoying The Photograph by Graham Clarke.

In the meantime, here are some performance portraits from the last couple of months – Shakespeare, Rosy Tin Teacaddy and The Eastern, otherwise known as a few of my favourite things.

Toodle-pip, and I shall try not to descend so deeply into the project that nothing comes out here.

(syncretismassociates) Still lifes Tue, 29 Mar 2011 03:19:28 GMT
Back from holiday I’m an urban person, but I prefer to holiday outside the city. That doesn’t sound profound. It’s a tendency (the holidaying, not the superficiality) that does have the advantage of getting engaged with landscape only a little bit. Which is good, because I don’t regard it as part of my thing although it can be fun from time to time. I was reading about the approach to landscape of early photographers and realised that my approach to it is to portray as largely asleep. Possibly ominously asleep, possibly just asleep. Not exactly transcendentalist! Anyway, here’s a landscape image from just before holiday times. It will hold the front page while I work on the other images garnered while away. Some might find the lens flare in this image intrusive. I haven’t decided whether it’s justifiable yet.
Red-toned landscape from Wellingtonp1027626117-5
Over on the portfolio site you can see how I spent New Years’ Eve.

(syncretismassociates) Genre-challenged landscape toning Tue, 18 Jan 2011 01:16:09 GMT
Next Exhibition image-making is done now, so I can move onto/back to other projects. However, you can use the below to keep track of the exhibition, The Great Indoors. It opens on 31 January 2011 in Wellington.

The Great Indoors | Promote your Page too

If your connection to Facebook is blocked, then you can scratch this URL onto a slate instead:

Will be spending some time down South over summer so this could lead to a few things, maybe some landscapes, definitely some musician portraits and hopefully some scope for still-lifes, given that they are supposed to be my primary field of endeavour. Speaking of the South (which sadly seems to be getting more and more associated with disasters) I made a quick visit to Christchurch after the quake and once I had checked on a few people and things came away with a couple of images.


(syncretismassociates) "the great indoors" Genre-challenged bw christchurch debris exhibition Fri, 26 Nov 2010 19:28:23 GMT
Awaiting the flash of inspiration I really like these. So geometric, so contrasty, so resonant. I also have so little idea of how to finish them. It feels like they are asking to be collaged in some way, but that’s not something I’ve done a lot of, so I got nothing in terms of ideas for doing that. I reckon that they’ll print nicely very large, which is nice. We’ll see what happens.

<zf-img src="" style2="-zf-autofit:2;-zf-decoration:none;" data-zf-photo="gal124526653:1363253262:0" data-zf-size="8581:580:383"></zf-img>

(syncretismassociates) Abstracts abstract black and white bw Wed, 11 Aug 2010 04:19:05 GMT
I am a peninsula of no taste These are from a trip to Banks Peninsula. When I posted this set to an audience of Facebook friends I was pleasantly taken aback by the positivity of responses. Not that I’m used to lots of negative feedback or anything – it’s just that I wasn’t overly wowed by any of these images and really just shared them as an experiment in loosening up a little. It’s not the first time that I’ve shown people things I like and things that I’m not convinced about and got strong feedback that I’m off-beam. It’s interesting.

(syncretismassociates) Genre-challenged Tue, 22 Jun 2010 02:27:24 GMT
A commercial break I’ve been on holiday in Christchurch for a week and one of the things that I got up to was to be commissioned by my brother-in-law, Mark Tigwell, to make some images to promote the LED-based interior lighting design work that he does. This series (36, long, sorry) shows a driftwood to kitchen lighting installation that he’s recently finished. It’s pretty extraordinary to look at and really balances ambience with practicality, although I’m not sure that the pictures really get that across. I don’t do promotional shoots much (barely at all) but this was interesting.

(syncretismassociates) Artists at work commission lighting purple Mon, 14 Jun 2010 03:30:10 GMT