Wayne Barrar

Wayne Barrar

Honorary Research Fellow

Wayne Barrar is a photographic-based visual artist. His national and international exhibition and publication work principally investigates issues related to landscape change and the cultural redefinition of nature. His research interests also encompass the history of New Zealand photography and documentary practices. As Associate Professor in Whiti o Rehua School of Art, he formerly taught within the photography major of the BDes(Hons) programme and supervised within the MFA and PhD programmes.

  • Expertise

    Contemporary photographic practice; landscape visualisation; documentary issues; photographic technologies and photographic histories (especially nineteenth century New Zealand).

  • Research Highlights

    The Glass Archive (2013–2017)
    This solo exhibition and publication project focusses on diatoms (a type of algae) as varied and abstract forms with a diverse set of cultural narratives.
    The work in the exhibition centres on large scale photomicrographs. The majority of these have been made from historical archived microscope slides (some of which date from as early as the 1850s). Instead of approaching the microscopic slide simply as a scientific object, the work in this exhibition treats the slide as an artifact imbued with additional meanings and potential.

    The images are also grounded firmly in the geographies of ‘location’ or ‘site’, with the broader project including documentation of the sites where these forms were found. A major focus relates to the extraordinary diatom sites found in Oamaru, New Zealand. Exhibited in New Zealand, USA and the Netherlands. 

    Maritime–trace–exposure (2022)
    Maritime–trace–exposure is a group exhibition that utilises photography, moving image, poetry, sound and virtual space. It builds on the artists’ experience and observation of phenomena in relation to maritime surveying, sampling, and resource exploitation. It also considers the difference between day-to-day realities and expectations of maritime space and the versions we create through simulation, imagining and technologies – playing at the edges of science and ‘the real’ as we conventionally expect them to be. The exhibition featured work from the research group “An Architecture of the Sea”, comprising Wayne Barrar, Mizuho Nishioka, Tane Moleta and Kerry Hines and was shown at Forrester Gallery, Oamaru.

    An Expanding Subterra (2011)
    A major project comprising a solo exhibition and monographic book. Curated by Aaron Kreisler for Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the exhibition toured to three further venues - American University Museum, Washington DC, City Gallery Wellington and Rotorua Museum. The project photographically analyses the commodification of underground space in four countries, challenges notions of spatial and landscape definition and critiques concepts of the vernacular in site production.

  • Qualifications

    BSc (Canterbury University)
    PGDipFA (Auckland University)
    MDes (Massey University)