Smoko room No.1 Printing Office, Wanganui

Richard Wotton, Artist

This is one of the photographs in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 1987.
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Object Detail


About the Work
Richard Wotton’s sharp eye keenly activates liminal spaces such as the banal smoko room. This crisply black and white image has a bracingly ephemeral and melancholy atmosphere. It depicts a mundane but beautifully compelling mise-en-scene of a Zip hot water cylinder, enamel teapot, a glossy Penthouse magazine strewn on a chair and nude pin-ups tacked on grubby walls. The calendar with a PG Tips style monkey pouring a cup of tea is a darkly absurd touch. You can just imagine the kind of off-the-shop-floor smoko banter that might have taken place in this room over a strong brew and a few vanilla wine biscuits.
-Kiran Dass, writer and critic, for the May 2021 instalment of the My Choice exhibition series.
Measurements
Image 240 x 190mm
Media
selenium toned, silver gelatin print
Description
Black and white photograph of a room with a Zip hot water cylinder above a sink to the left, a mirror and callendar on the right, and a newspaper and penthouse magazine lying on chairs at the bottom of the image.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery, Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1988
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
19 Oct 1988

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Accession Number:
1988/17/3