Photographer Caselberg resident

As part of his Pet Photo Booth project, Justin Spiers will photograph pet owners and their pets in front of colourful vintage backdrops. PHOTO: JUSTIN SPIERS
As part of his Pet Photo Booth project, Justin Spiers will photograph pet owners and their pets in front of colourful vintage backdrops. PHOTO: JUSTIN SPIERS

Dunedin photographer Justin Spiers has been named the Caselberg Trust Creative Connections resident for 2018.

Spiers was the Supreme Winner at the Cleveland National Art Awards 2017 and was a finalist at the Wallace Art Awards and the National Contemporary Art Awards.

He graduated from Dunedin School of Art in 2013 and was the director of the Perth Centre for Photography from 2004-07.

His three-month residency at Caselberg House, in Broad Bay, comes with a $6000 stipend and $2000 for funding for residency-related expenses.

Spiers is planning two projects during his residency — The Black Swan of Trespass and Pet Photo Booth.

Regarding The Black Swan of Trespass project, he said swans were ‘‘abundant in popular culture and in most stories a shadow figure is prevalent’’.

He was interested in the often demonic form given to the bird, as well as its transformation from a white cygnet to a black adult, he said.

‘‘The images that I propose to create will allude to the unknowableness of animals, and the barriers humans construct with animals.’’

Spiers will also work on the Pet Photo Booth project, for which pet owners are photographed with their pets in front of ‘‘colourful, gloriously kitsch vintage photo wall backdrops’’.

‘‘This would be the first South Island outing of a 10-year long project that has been to every corner of Australia and been exhibited in prominent Australian galleries . . .’’

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