Everyman in the lens
Northland photographer Ross T. Smith exhibits images of subject Hemi Tuwharerangi Paraha at the Visual Arts Gallery of the University of Alabama through November 1. The images [of Paraha] are powerfully elemental. He becomes a sort of everyman who is also unique. His dark skin, tattoos and sullen and brooding countenance project a hostile native wisdom that conveys innermost emotions about being an outsider in his homeland. Curator Brent Levine describes the photographs: “We see a man we will never know, but who is fundamentally a part of all of us. These images call the entire history of the representation of Maori males into question precisely in the manner in which they suggest who Paraha is and, at the same time, react against the traditional representations which have reflected, if not repressed, young Maori males to this day.” Smith has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Auckland.