Strangely Familiar

Ryan McCauley is a Wellington-based photographer who has a strong interest in landscape and the built environment. Over the past few years he has explored these topics in various way utilising a wide variety of photographic technologies.

Ryan completed achieved a 1st Class Honours in Design in 2011 from Massey University and and a Masters of Fine Arts in 2013. 

"I used these projects to expand my skills and photographic style."

During his Masters, Ryan travelled to Timor Leste twice, investigating the role of the built environment in exploring the past, but also defining and moulding the identity of the young nation.

It was during his Honours course that Ryan became interested in pinhole photography, but only since completing his Masters has he begun to explore the technology again.

"My interest in the pinhole medium lies in its inherent photographic quality, but also in its distinct lack of clarity, an attribute which I link to its use as a mnemonic medium. In a world where we are bombarded by images, I believe that utilising pinhole technology allows me to frame the world in such a way that the familiar is skewed, and as viewers, we are asked to engage with the images in a new way. I intend this unfamiliarity to not only question the viewer to explore the photographic image in a new way, but also to question the process of vision that we rely on every day."

Ryan goes on to explain that "the pinhole medium after all is essentially the same basic optical mechanism as the lens in our eye. It is, however, our brain that rearranges the world and makes sense of it. The images I create seek to disrupt our natural ordering of vision, and explore a naturally unnatural image-making process and create work that encourages extended viewing through subtle defamiliarisation".

Ryan is showing his latest works at Mint Gallery from 29th May to 11th June. They were all shot around Dunedin and  created using the pinhole method.