After William Hodges’ ‘Cascade Cove’, 21 May 1995 is a four part photographic work, which responds to William Hodges’s painting [Cascade Cove], Dusky Bay, 1775. In the 1990s photographer Mark Adams, with historian and anthropologist Nicholas Thomas, retraced the voyage of Captain Cook and William Hodges in Dusky and Queen Charlotte Sounds, producing the Cook’s Sites series of photographs and publication.
Dusky Sound was the first place Cook visited on his second voyage to New Zealand, spending April and May 1773 within its shores. Today it is one of the most isolated places in the country and signs of Cook’s visit are still visible in the remnant stumps and bush regenerating where land was cleared. Adams’s photographs respond to both the history of this landscape and Hodges’s representations of it. Contrary to Hodges’s critics, Adams and Thomas maintain that rather than romanticising the land Hodges precisely ‘captured the mist, bright sunlight, and heavy cloud that are so often anomalously co-present in Dusky Sound.’ They do not deny the contrivances of Hodges’s paintings, for example, in Cascade Cove opening up the scene to reveal the waterfall and placing Māori figures before it. Yet nor do they claim that Adams’s photographs are purely documentary. As Thomas explains, Adams’s response to Cascade Cove ‘is in a sense, as fabricated an image as that of Hodges. Because Adams aims to show the larger context of the watercourse, rather than a staged landscape, the panorama looks both upstream and downstream’, thus recording more than the eye can see.
- After William Hodges' 'Cascade Cove', 21 May 1995
- Production date
- gelatin silver prints
- 580 x 463 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Deane Endowment Trust, 2005
- Accession no
- Other ID
- X2005/23 Old Accession Number
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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