Geoff Cloake, Revenge June 2007
Night Lightning 2006. digital image on photographic paper.
Geoff Cloake, Revenge June 2007
REVENGE was my first solo exhibition but photography has been my passion for over 40 years. I was born in Timaru and grew up on his parents’ Cloake’s Honey property at Fairview. When I was 11 years old I bought a Kodak Starlet with money saved from digging the family garden. Later photography fitted alongside my passion for tramping and rowing as a way of sharing his experiences with friends and family until the Starlet slipped from my pack on Mt Peel. Its replacement, a Kodak Instamatic soon slipped into the Huxley River and went rusty. A more serious solution was called for and the small and lightweight Olympus OM system became my treasure for three decades regardless of a few extra drownings.
I started to win in photography competitions and salons later becoming a judge myself. I started to explore alternative approaches to photography. My work was exhibited in art galleries in the early 1980s and gained selection by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art. This productive period culminated when, with my wife Marthy, I published The Secret South Island in 1985, an overview of tramping.
Redundancy in 1999 forced me to reconsider my life ambitions. In my heart I knew I wanted to rekindle my photographic work. I established my own business which I now run with my daughter Roselyn and it supports the artistic endeavours of both me and Roselyn who is a painter and singer.
With about 600 fine art prints and image rights sold I belive my profile as a photographer is well established locally. I now focus on producing fine art prints, developing presentations for workshops and lectures and selecting for competitions and exhibitions.
See here for full biographic details
My interest in photography is as extensive as anything a camera can picture. It is New Zealand's diverse landforms that compel me most and I go out hunting regularly to capture images of our tremendous landscapes. But the land is merely a stage. Amazing ranges of atmospheric phenomena create ever-changing shows of light making every image unique.
Landscape photography to me is more about a search for unique ‘raw material’, the thrill of the hunt and capture of natural phenomena. By comparison the computer stage of the process is merely incidental for collecting and assembling all the pieces to yield high-resolution images for fine manipulation until I reach the stage where my feelings about each scene becomes fully satisfied. Despite all this, the final result still has to have the feel of a photograph and my ethic is to present a scene that could be truly seen if standing there in similar conditions. Observing a trend towards ’digital abstraction and construction’, I have come to think of myself as a ‘photo-realistic’ photographer. However, my feelings of awe for the land and very special atmosphere are paramount and I will sacrifice reality for more emotional effects.
REVENGE - explores the interaction between all of us and the climate. It questions local signs of change over our land and sea.
Humans have a long history of doing some very nasty stuff to our environment. And nature can easily swing hard against us in response. I think there a lot of fear and confusion about climate change and what it can do to us. There are many opposing views and mistruths. We need to be very careful about what we believe, what we do.
We know the world can’t sustain our accelerating growth and we could be trimmed back on a monster scale in an instant. I see a future of overwhelming possibilities that must dramatically change lives.
No one can be certain about what might happen but we must think about it and prepare.
With my photographic exhibition I want to use magnitude and drama to draw attention to these climatic issues, offer my prints as metaphors to help people think about might be happening and question our interaction with the climate.
I want to help people see signs of change - whether real or imagined – and question what we believe by them. We must also seriously question what others want us to believe
This will help to create greater interest and understanding of enormous complex ideas that we would rather ignore. We must encourage debate, lift public opinion, and drive our leaders forward to organise solutions.
Else nature will in its own way with… REVENGE