Every point in space tells a story and it’s the photographer’s objective to capture these moments in time. It is through the lens that the ordinary has the power to become the extraordinary, but only if the camera is in the hands of an artist. Pictorialist Cally Whitham, possesses an unnatural talent for casting what we might consider as the mundane, in a romantic light. Car lots are are transformed for heaps of parts into a most inviting, colourful, and metallic landscape.
Her work takes what is and shows you what it could, and even should be. What may have been a blight on the landscape is now a favourable memory, a nostalgic moment. Whitham’s photographs are the antithesis to the notion that we should take the world as it is, not how it should be. With each shutter and flash she rebukes the essence of that philosophy.
Whitham is a photographic artist from New Zealand – her pictures are filled with romantic notions of finding value in banality. She graduated from school with a focus in photography in the early 90’s; from there she went on to exhibit and sell her work, leading her (rightfully so) to a number of awards. She worked in the commercial industry until having a family in early 2000.
“Her work identifies aesthetic value where none appears apparent and often invites viewers to reflect on our rural beginnings.”
It’s difficult to distinguish between Whitham’s photographs of New Zealand and rural America. Her work translates well between rural Western cultures and shows common threads and shared beginnings of a myriad of people.