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In Conversation With Derek Henderson and Kelly Thompson: Darkness of Noon

Interview by Yasmine Ganley

Have you ever looked at an image and wanted to know exactly what the artist behind it was thinking? Ever wanted to know how an artist might get to publish and exhibit their works?  Well, now here is your chance. The Department Store will be hosting an ‘In Conversation With…’ event on Thursday 30th May with world-renowned photographer Derek Henderson and New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based illustrator Kelly Thompson, to launch their beautiful new collaborative book ‘Darkness of Noon’.

‘Darkness of Noon’ will be exclusively released in New Zealand at our in-store event where ticket holders will be given the opportunity to become the country’s first owners of this gorgeous book. Simon James Concept Store will then be the exclusive stockist of ‘Darkness of Noon’ in New Zealand for the following week before it is to be sold in any other outlets.

We’re giving away five double-pass tickets to the event which you can win by e-mailing with ‘THE NEWS GIVEAWAY’ in the subject line.  Please include your full name and a contact number, too.  The five winners will be notified by e-mail, and names will be on the door. Thanks to Peroni and Sanpellegrino.

Read our interview with Derek Henderson below.
THE NEWS: Tell us about the book Darkness of Noon and how the project came about.

Derek Henderson: I’ve worked with Zippora over a few years now and we work well together. We were both back in New Zealand for the summer of 2010-2011 and I’d always thought it would be a good idea to do a series of nudes with her.

TN: Where did the inspiration behind the title come from?

DH: It’s an oxymoron like a lot of titles for projects I do. It seems to me that most things in life are conflicting and often have more that one resolute meaning.

TN: The location and natural light of these images is so beautiful. Can you tell us where these images of Zippora taken?

DH: It’s at cemetery in Auckland, the banks of the Waikato river near Tuakau, and also at Zippora’s home in Auckland.

TN: What moves you to pick up your camera?

DH: To open a portal to places and people I’ve seen and share those experiences with other human beings.

TN: I have read before that you love working with Zippora, can you tell us about what you like about her and why you chose to work with her for this project?

DH: She is very relaxed about her body and doesn’t feel the need to hide it away. She has a way of entertaining herself on her own and is very in touch with the immediate environment she is in. As a photographer, you do not need to direct Zippora. Plus she’s fun to be with. It’s easy to feel comfortable around her and not have to have much to say. Also, she is incredibly beautiful.

TN: How do you go about editing down a selection of images for a published book? Did you approach it like a normal editorial or was this process different for you?

DH: It’s a series of images, and slowly correlating them together takes some time. I find it’s best to come back to images and see how they’re sitting together, but mostly it’s instinctual.

TN: What was the motivation behind getting Kelly’s illustration work involved?

DH: I didn’t want the book to just be photographs of Zippora, and Kelly’s work strips away a lot of things and you’re left with the just the form of the body. This is something I try and do with my photographs as well, I’m always taking away things rather than adding things to the photographs.

TN: How was it seeing your photographs in an illustration for the first time?

DH: Fantastic. I gave Kelly the hard-drive and she chose which images she wanted to illustrate, so it was a nice surprise to see which images she had chosen, too.

TN: Do you have a favourite image in the book?

DH: I don’t really have a favourite image as I really see them as a series.

TN: Tell us about your talk and event that you are having at The Department Store next week. What can ticket holders expect from the evening?

DH: I’ll be talking about the process of making a book and how to achieve that. The people involved, Zippora, Kelly, designers, printers and galleries are all a part of that process.

TN: What else is coming up for you this year that you are excited about?

DH: I have two shows coming up in Auckland. One at the Par Homestead in August of images from the ‘Waitoa Slaughter House’ series, and the other at Melanie Rogers Gallery in August of a crashed spacecraft.

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