"It sounds basic, but above all the visual culture papers in my Art History and Theory degree at Otago have taught me how to look. Are Colin McCahon's religious paintings, as A.R.D. Fairburn insisted, akin to "graffiti on the walls of some celestial lavatory?" At Otago you can decide for yourself.
"Many of the tutorials are held at the Hocken Collections. The Hocken Collections, within walking distance from the University, is a place where you can pull out and view row upon row of artworks relating to New Zealand and the Pacific. As these artworks are alphabetised by artist name you are treated to the often odd juxtaposition of styles and subjects to be found in the collections.
"My passion for the arts started in college. Taking Art History and Theory at tertiary level enabled me to further my understanding of visual culture through differing historical and theoretical lenses. Taking papers in Visual Culture is helpful because it allows an expanding vision of art history.
"Having been inspired by Erika Wolf 's 'History of Photography' paper, I am currently doing my Honour's dissertation on the prominent New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart. The research, which focuses on his most recent body of work in America, is challenging. The advantage of examining photographs of an artist working locally? A road trip to Alexandra means I can visit the artist in person."