Small Town

Christopher Young

For the last few years I have begun my artist statements with the following:

“As young children growing up in small-town New Zealand, my brother, a friend and I used to play in a large abandoned building. The different rooms were in varying states of disrepair, often containing objects that appealed to us. We gathered these trinkets and put them together into the cleanest of the rooms, essentially creating a hideout.”

After a lot of planning, this self-funded series was finally shot in a few square kilometres in the winter of 2012 during a trip to the North Island of New Zealand.

The project is titled Small Town and it’s an intimate look at a rural community where I spent the first 10 years of my life.

I didn’t attempt to paint a picture of the place itself but instead looked at both my experience then – over 30 years ago – and in 2012. By revisiting places as well as attempting to engage sections of the community, I hoped to replicate the sensations, colours and smells I experienced at the time.

Whilst the people and experiences are inevitably different than those from my childhood, others are still there and the access to them was critical for the project. I was very much an outsider given that I had no personal connections whatsoever to the community. I instead actively engaged with various groups and looked at their dynamics.

The groups I contacted were welcoming and supportive of the project. I was given almost universal access and the process was rather fluid. Whilst I had preconceived ideas about what I wished to photograph, I was accepting of the opportunities that arose. These abbreviated friendships allowed an intimacy in photography that can be lost through the process of simply putting a camera between a subject and myself.

I am acutely aware how that environment continues to affect my practice. I often tell people that if they experienced my Small Town, especially that of my youth, then they would have much greater access to my work.

Please contact me on 0421 974 329 (Perth, Western Australia, GMT+8) should you be interested in purchasing work. All images are Lightjet prints and prices range from AU$808-$1,440 for individual prints.

640mm (h) x 800mm (w). Edition of 5.
320mm (h) x 400mm (w). Edition of 5.

Further to the above dimensions, images have a white border on all sides.

Framing can be included for your convenience and is done by a professional framer. This includes individual white frames, white matt boards with the prints behind glass.

View the series

Read articles written about the project

View videos related to the project

Christopher Young - Small Town

Christopher Young, Seven #21, 2012/16


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Phone: 0421 974 329 (Chris)
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Web: zebra-factory.com