'Caring for the Dead', a photographic essay by Bridgit
Anderson, is making its overdue appearance in Dunedin in
November, after the exhibition had to be cancelled in March
due to February's Christchurch Earthquake.
The art works were stored in the Centre of Contemporary Art –
COCA – gallery, which became part of the red zone area after
“Fortunately the work is housed in international standard
touring crates so no damage was incurred”, Bridgit said.
Michael Hope, of Hope and Sons Funeral Directors in Dunedin,
said: “ Little did we know when the earthquake occurred
that not only would we have to postpone if not cancel the
exhibition, but myself and a team of volunteers from Dunedin
would be in Christchurch assisting our colleagues over the
following weeks. It was an honour and a privilege to be able
to do this but we also thought it very important to ensure
this exhibition still came to Dunedin."
Over the course of a year (2005-06) Bridgit Anderson worked
closely with a Christchurch firm of funeral directors and
with families who had recently lost loved ones.
The exhibition seeks to open up a world that is often left to
the imagination. Anderson’s series of black and white
photographs focus on the journey of the body from the time of
death to burial or cremation.
The exhibition has been shown in Christchurch, Ashburton,
Auckland, Wellington, Lower Hutt, Queensland, Sydney, Finland
and now, it is coming to Dunedin.
Hope and Sons Funeral Directors and Dignity Funeral Services
are proud to be bringing this exhibition exclusively to
Dunedin as the images allow the viewer a rare insight into
the personal and professional domains of the funeral
Photographs taken in the clinical environs of the mortuary,
at the graveside, in the chapel and at the family home
provide a thoughtful and broad understanding of the funeral
profession, and one which ultimately seeks to
Born and educated in Christchurch, Bridgit Anderson moved to
the UK in 1985 where she held tertiary teaching positions at
Croydon College, London and London College of the Arts,
Camberwell and Chelsea. She returned to New Zealand in 2004
to take up a temporary lecturing post in the photography
department at the University of Canterbury School of Fine
Arts, of which she is a graduate.
As a documentary and portrait photographer her career has
spanned a variety of areas and interests, both analogue and
digital. Anderson is currently the manager for A Place in
Time Documentary Project at the university.