2011 is the inaugural year of the Auckland Festival of Photography's Annual Commission - the sole annual commission of photographic art by a Fine Arts Photographer in New Zealand .
The Commission provides an opportunity to support and promote a young photographic artist of great talent as well as create an important cultural and artistic asset for present and future Auckland audiences to enjoy. The 2011 Annual Commission was awarded to Roberta Thornley who has created work for this exhibition in response to the concept of New Beginnings in accordance with this new photographic initiative for Auckland. The new commission will form the next stage in this young artist's work.
Roberta Thornley is 25 and graduated with a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2007. She has since exhibited in group and solo shows here in New Zealand and in Australia. Her work is held in the Christchurch Art Gallery and Wallace Arts Trust collections. She is represented by Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland.
"The place to being with Roberta Thornley's work is in the 'everyday' world. She makes photographs about the simplest of ideas yet her work has an underlying element of unease - as if each image makes a crucial connection between beauty, desire, and the 'bible-black' of melancholy. Thornley's photographs are about moments that exist at a point of change; where an object or a person might be one thing or the other. It is the precarious balance that fascinates Thornley, and it is the moment of letting go, of truthfulness, to which we intuitively respond."
...From an essay by Dr Kriselle Baker for Art NZ, issue #134, winter 2010