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Darkness of Noon

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Premiering at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, the effortlessly beautiful collaborative book Darkness of Noon features the works of renowned photographer Derek Henderson and illustrator Kelly Thompson.

“I find most things in life to be conflicting and I’m never quite sure which side I’m on”. This statement by Henderson reflects the oxymoronic title of the book, like those of most of his work.

The subject of the artistic collaboration is New Zealand model Zippora Seven and the series of emotive nude images offer an intimate glimpse into the personality of the ethereal blonde. The photographs were shot in locations around New Zealand, including the Waikato River and Seven’s own home, chosen by Henderson for their familiarity and isolation from humanity.

Seven was captured with delicate simplicity in the natural landscape through Henderson’s lens. Thompson then reinterpreted the photographs in soft, pared-back pencil drawings, which shift the focus to finer details.

‘When drawing [Seven], I became very interested in small details about her, she has certain ways she always holds her hands and her hair has a routine flop … I wanted the viewer to experience these with my images”, says Thompson.

Both Henderson and Thompson had worked with Seven previously, and both agree that giving prominence to the personality of their models is of especial importance.

When asked whether he perceived that Seven was presented in distinctly different lights, Henderson responded, “I think photography can sometimes have too much information. I’m always trying to take away. Kelly’s illustrations seem to separate from the real world to somewhere ephemeral; they almost disappear off the page”.

Darkness of Noon will be launched at contemporary art space, Edmund Pearce Gallery, on Thursday 14 March. The limited edition of only 1000 copies will include 150 with a slipcover signed by Henderson and Thompson.

The book will be available online at darknessofnoon.com and from select bookstores in Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington and Auckland. Check out derekhenderson.net and kellythompson.co.nz for more information.


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