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John Maillard

How the camera interacts with the environment is critical to how we view the world; that response is and must be different depending on the camera and the photographer’s interpretation of the moment. The camera does not and never has reproduced the world around us, merely a reproduction of its mechanical components. John has studied and worked as a photographer for forty years. He has worked as a documentary photographer in West Africa, he has been a studio photographer in the USA and the UK. His career has touched almost every part of the sub-genres of photography and creative industries. He has been involved in the publication of five books, three of which were published by Canterbury University Press, documenting the relationship between native plants and the human environment and the history of the community hall and the people of New Zealand. Two books were a collaboration with Ian Spellerberg who is Emeritus Professor of Nature Conservation at Lincoln University. John has a new Ebook “Synesthesia Obscura” (Kindle Edition), available on Amazon , with a handmade version available in a few weeks. For the past twenty years, he has been a Senior Lecturer in Photography and Interactive Design. His specialist areas include curriculum development and conversion of previous diploma photographic courses into degree-level courses, academic team leader and researcher. He has taught across all of the specialisation in the Design degree at ARA. He has been instrumental in the introduction of academic-led practical photography, including documentary photography and alternative processes (one of his specialist areas) into the new degree course at ARA. As the academic leader of the photographic department, he has supported and introduced teaching staff to alternative processes and book design. 

He has worked with the tutor team to build a flexible course that will enable students to use photography within the creative industries. To this end, he has a working relationship with professional clients. These include Ngāi Tahu and Resene paints. He also lead course development in game design and interactive design, starting from UX, UI and gamification theory. His research has been primarily focused on the relationship between humanity and the changing landscape in New Zealand and exploring the pageant of the landscape, from an initial viewpoint of landscape as memory and mourning and how this is part of the human occupation.

He is exploring the use of photographic theory and how this can be used in interactive media and thus extend the notion of what photography is, as technology changes while keeping a clear view of what the photographic image represents.

Part of his research was an interactive river of words on display at 110 Cashel Street in Christchurch for two years, this came about following involvement in the Night of Delight in the Botanical Gardens and is relevant as Light is photography. Photography, it’s theory, processes and application are the core of his creative output

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