Billboards + Photography = ?

I’ve been thinking a lot about billboards…and photography.

I introduced some of my students to this national (NZ) competition for a photographic commission that is going to end up on a billboard through Connells Sculpture Park, on Waiheke Island.

This made me think about the restrictions that the output/display method, puts on the creativity of my current students regarding their installation of their work/photograph, and how installation can make or break a specific piece of artwork. It is just as important as the content of the work itself and something I am passionate about having worked in a galllery for several years.

I think it’s a great opportunity for work, specififcally photographic work to be considered in a different way, to be considered as an art, not just as a form of media, but I wonder if billboards are just too easy?

However, while I ruminate, here are some images for you: the first is Gavin Hipkins’ work installed at Macraes Flat, Otago (1999) on nine large billboards. The second, (you might recognise the format – it’s google’s) is a view from the air (satellite to be specific) of the same site – you can just make out, the nine billboards… It made me think of the impact of the billboards, of looking at them in a different way (in this case, quite literally from a different view).

Can we take the humble billboard and re-energise it? re-use it? use it in a different way?

hipkinsMacraesFlat1999

hipkinsMacraesFlatgoogle2009

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