There are so many places in Auckland that have strong associations to my beautiful late wife Amber McWilliams. Te Henga is one of them. Amber filmed The New Adventures of Black Beauty there in the early nineties, and it became a cherished soulful place for her to return to over the remainder of her life.
On occasions when the stars align I am able to make Fridays my reflection days, giving space to memories of Amber, and an opportunity to focus on grieving, life, living and the beauty of the world.
Today was a star aligning Friday, and my reflection day was at Te Henga, Bethells Beach, on the wild west coast of Auckland. I walked, sat, bathed in the sun, read my book, and took photos.
My favourite memories of Amber at Te Henga are: holding hands on the long drive out there; walking the beach and talking talking talking with the wind whipping the sand across our legs; swimming in the glorious cool yellow-water lake; chasing the kids around in the sand dunes; hearing Amber’s crazy horse riding stories and funny continuity errors from filming out there; and hiking the Te Henga Walkway from Muriwai to Bethells Beach with our friends Nik and Carmen – diving into the sea at Bethells at the end of the walk!
Today I tried to capture the mood and beauty of Te Henga, Bethells Beach. Here are my photographs for your enjoyment.
This exhibition was created at the invitation of Panuku Development Auckland. It formed a part of the Wynyard Quarter 6th birthday celebrations on 5 August 2017, and continued for 2 weeks after.
As the client representative for Auckland Theatre Company during the building and commissioning of the new ASB Waterfront Theatre in Wynyard Quarter (2014 – 2017), I spent a lot of time in the Wynyard precinct at odd hours of the day and night.
The images in this exhibition are selected from hundreds of photographs I took in and around the Wynyard Quarter during those years, capturing the changing moods and atmosphere of the precinct.
The exhibition offers a unique perspective on the Wynyard precinct. By providing new views of familiar subjects, the images challenge the viewer to see the area with fresh eyes – to look up, and into corners, and down alleys.
In the words of French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922): “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”