On my first visit to Upper Hutt’s Golder Cottage Museum I was somewhat overwhelmed by the hundreds of objects, memorabilia and ephemera filling each of the cottage rooms. The purpose of the objects was to create a sense of colonial domestic life as it may have been lived in the cottage built by John Golder for his family of twelve children in 1876-77.
As a photographer, whose art-practice since 2017 has involved photographing emptied out heritage spaces, I was interested in seeing the cottage rooms free of their objects. At my request Golders Cottage Museum volunteers emptied out the rooms on two extremely cold days in July 2021 for me to photograph.
The interior stripped of its contents revealed evidence of life actually lived within the cottage. Traces of its history were revealed in marks, stains, rippled wallpapers, tears, scuffs and more in its dining room, mourning room and bedrooms.
Golder Cottage presents, in nine hyper-real photographic prints, images of its rooms, fire-places, attic room, garden window view, kauri woodwork and more illuminated in mid-winter light.
Golder Cottage was exhibited at Whirinaki Whare Taonga, Upper Hutt 31 July to 30 October 2022.