Steve Carr & Christian Lamont: Fading to the Sky

Fading to the Sky is a collaborative installation that Steve Carr and Christian Lamont developed and exhibited in Auckland during 2020 and has been reconsidered and reworked for CoCA’s Ō Papa Ground Floor Gallery.

This installation brings a range of photographic and moving image works together that occupy the walls, are projected onto a hanging screen and play out on a monitor that rests on the floor which activate the whole gallery. 

Principal Exhibition Partner

In addition to this, Christian Lamont has subtly intervened in the architecture of this room by opening up and installing a set of purple theatre gels on a set of a previously blocked joinery windows, so the light levels and temperature are in a constant state of flux in the gallery as determined by the world beyond.

Steve Carr is a senior lecturer at Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury and Christian Lamont recently completed his Master of Fine Art at this School, with Carr being one of his co-supervisors.  Both artists utilise tropes and devices from the cinematic arts with photography by Carr and lighting design by Lamont, which is deeply evocative.

This exhibition sees both artists producing separate and yet deeply connected works that through seemingly simple means, a stark photographic portrait repeating and theatre gels shifting and changing the light levels through the space, can affect and ultimately determine our emotional and conceptual response to this set-up.

This project is the result of Carr’s time as a McCahon House resident in Titirangi, which was heavily impacted by Covid-19, and his mother’s death from lung cancer on 17 April 2020. For Carr, the installation is a lamentation on loss and one of his most personal projects yet; the work addresses the ways he mourned his mother’s death publicly and how he expressed his grief privately.   In turn, this project hopefully offers audiences a chance to reflect on the ways that we all process and deal with significant moments in our lives.

Steve Carr was born in Maruawai Gore in 1976, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2003. Recent solo exhibitions include Chasing the Light, City Gallery Wellington (2019)/National Gallery of Victoria (2019)/Christchurch Art Gallery (2018), A Manual for Small Archives, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016), Bullet Time, Wellington City Gallery (2016), Stretching Time, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2014).

Steve Carr currently lives and works in Ōtautahi Christchurch and is represented in New Zealand by Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and in Australia by STATION, Melbourne/Sydney. He has been a Senior Lecturer at Ilam School of Art since 2016.

Christian Lamont was born in Ōtautahi Christchurch in 1998. He studied at Ilam School of Fine Arts, graduating with first class honours in 2020.  He is a film and installation artist whose practice is interested in exploring light and colour towards generating immersive sensory and temporal environments. He does this by using natural and artificial light along with artistic interventions of established architecture. Recent exhibitions include 400 Lux, Hot Lunch gallery, Christchurch (2020) and Fading to the Sky, Te Uru Gallery, Auckland (2021).

Fading to the Sky is presented in partnership with the University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts and CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki.