by D’Arcy Dalzell
They say the more the world changes the more it stays the same. They also say you have to leave home to find your home. They tend to say a lot. So it’s nice when you can close your ears and have your eyes opened by snapshots of what could be right beside you.
Wellington photographer Neil Pardington is no stranger to strangeness. In his exhibition ‘Skylight’, he captures the presence of the generic city (or more to the point, its absence).
A modern day Passepartout, Pardington hits the points of a travel triangle (Wellington-Berlin-New York-Wellington) in search of nothing more than something new. He concedes to the remorseless nature of time, which turns the new into the already past and the ever same. In essence he captures the places where transience becomes elderly.
Logs, snapped in downtown Wellington, documents the ghastly cultivation of a plastic forest, left exposed to petrify by the gaze of window shoppers. Likewise, a shop window in Berlin is the stage for an aging ersatz performance—an arena where veneer still reigns.
An airport terminal, entrances and exits, streetways, a Buick station wagon. All the signs point to travel, but the only movement seems to be through a dream world of time. Pardington describes the snapshots as familiar memories—the click of the shutter becomes the blink of an eye. He admits the photographs might even be memories of the not yet remembered, saying, ‘Some of my recollections haven’t been released yet.’
It’s no wonder then that Pardington’s latest travel log is a visual rumination through worlds of place and time. These images are the B-sides to a different kind of Lonely Planet.