Harry Culy: Mirror City

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‘After spending much of my late teens and twenties living overseas, I came back to this place which represented home for me. On my return, I encountered an eerie feeling: ‘home’ felt strangely unfamiliar. This prompted a desire to explore this uncanny sense of simultaneous belonging and non-belonging, through photographing the next generation of young people living here, and the landscape they inhabit, as a way to picture what home might mean to me now.’ — Harry Culy

Mirror City is a deeply personal and lyrical exploration of Harry Culy’s hometown, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Made between 2018-2022, the photographs in this book wander through a nondescript urban landscape, recording scenes that oscillate between the mysterious and mundane. Enigmatic graffiti, tangled vines and wires, cracked glass, boarded-up doorways and portraits of the young people who live here: these moments are punctuated with private iPhone notes and observations, domestic reminders, and lists. Arranged in sequence, the photographs and text in this book form a dreamlike narrative that rejects any sort of definitive conclusion. It instead looks for patterns and rhythms that may echo the fragility of belonging, and the uncertain future facing us.

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