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Harvest photographic exhibition highlights seasonal workers

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Each year hundreds of seasonal workers come to Hawke’s Bay to harvest the horticulture and viticulture crops the region is renowned for.

Hailing from as many as 16 different countries, their presence has made an indelible mark on Hawke’s Bay’s landscape, the flavour of which has been captured by local photographer Richard Brimer for his new exhibition - Harvest.

More than 200 people packed out the exhibition’s opening at Hastings City Art Gallery last Friday, both to view the works and also to hear from Brimer himself about his motivation to produce these empathetic works.

He has photographed multiple harvests, drawn to the characters of the workers and what they bring to the vineyards and orchards they work in.

"I have observed and photographed the seasonal work force in Hawke’s Bay for many years and have found it a diverse and interesting subject.

"From the RSE workers from the Pacific Islands to the locals to the transient backpackers, they are all here for different reasons and have different stories, but they are all contributing to the rich tapestry of Hawke’s Bay’s life."

Through his large format photographs, shot on location, exhibition-goers gain an intimate insight into the world of the seasonal workers in all their diversity.

This is the third Brimer show at Hastings City Art Gallery - following the first Portrait and Opinion that portrayed Hawke’s Bay’s diverse community, and the second, Personals, a portrait series of those who have influenced life in the Bay and who he considers to have aided its transition to a sought-after province to live in.

Harvest, which has been curated by Hastings City Art Gallery’s Jonathan Brown, will be showing at the gallery until March 1 next year.

The exhibition also features an accompanying book, also called Harvest, which contains additional photos to those on display in the gallery, and is for sale for $45.

That will not be the end of the region’s focus on our seasonal workers, however, as the Hastings District Council has joined forces with the horticulture industry to hold a "Harvest Day" for the next crop of seasonal workers.

Set to take place on Easter Monday next year it will be an opportunity for the community to recognise and thank these workers for their efforts, as well as find out a little more about their individual cultures.

More details on this event will be available closer to the time.

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