Lambhill

by Samantha Matthews

This collection of photographs explores the interior spaces of Lambhill Homestead, Whanganui. Through a personal photographic investigation, these quiet exposures attempt to reveal the many layers of time, history and memory present in this building.

Today the interior of the house is a unique space where the present, past and future is suspended in every room. The current owners have carefully preserved the building, complete with peeling wallpaper and creaky floorboards. No attempt has been made to cover up or hide its original being. This allows the visitor to experience the structure and appreciate the layers of history in its walls. Dispersed among the many rooms are combinations of historical photographs, found artefacts and personal family objects from the current inhabitants; reflecting Lambhill's present embodiment as part home/part living museum. This dichotomy of states creates an intriguing space to engage with photographically.

The resulting works in this exhibition offer an intimate suggestion of the interior spaces of Lambhill. The prints are pinned directly to the gallery wall, connecting these works with the homeowner's own interaction with materiality. By choosing to display these images in their raw physical form it creates a dialogue with the role of the photographic document in personal history and the everyday. Through carefully selecting an abstract view of the interior, details of texture and subtleties of light are exposed. This creates an open space where potential memories can be mediated, a space where a latent energy can be reengaged with in every moment of viewing. This level of interminable engagement and potential is what drives me to photograph. With Lambhill, where time stands still and moves forward again in the same instance, there could not be a better place to explore this facet of photography, especially since it is from within a part of my own family history. 

Samantha Matthews