Anna Miles Gallery

Sara McIntyre

Home & Away: Gardeners of Kākahi and others (Online only due to current Covid restrictions)

10/11/21 — 22/12/21

Early in life Sara McIntyre became familiar with the term ‘PO’ or ‘photo opportunity’ also known as ‘KO’ or ‘Kodak opportunity’. She got used to frequent stops on family car trips, for her father Peter McIntyre, to gather subject matter for his paintings.

Sara was nine when the family arrived at Kākahi in the King Country for a summer holiday in 1960. Fifty years later she returned to live permanently with no intention to work as a nurse or photographer. Serendipitously she found herself in the role of District Nurse.

“After years in an intensive care environment, to be given a bag and a car and sent out of the hospital was fantastic. I could barely contain myself. This was going to be my job! It wasn’t until I was back in the King Country that nursing and photography made sense. Every drive to work was laced with potential. I stopped often.”

Sara began sharing her photographs via Instagram. In 2016 her first solo exhibition Observations of a Rural Nurse was held at Anna Miles Gallery. In 2020 her book of the same title was published by Massey University Press. The book, designed by Sarah Gladwell, was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and is now in its third edition.

In 2020 the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua presented, Sara McIntyre — Observations of a Rural Nurse. In 2021, the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata presented, Kākahi: Peter and Sara McIntyre. Sara McIntyre continues to live and make photographs in Kākahi. Her photographs are now held in the collection of Te Papa Tongarewa and private collections across Aotearoa and Australia.


View more works by Sara McIntyre

Sara McIntyre MyART Q&A

Judy Rameka and her garden shed (2016); Falls Dam Hut (2021); and Taumahiorongo Marae, Kākahi (2008) in HOME & AWAY

HOME & AWAY as installed at the Gallery, October 2021.

For me Kākahi is a never ending source of POs or photographic opportunities. The scenes change constantly with seasons, weather, light, time of day. It’s my patch. I’ve travelled the length of the country making photographs. I love the different landscapes. But I don’t have the time or the background knowledge. I don’t have the same ‘eye’. Photographing people can feel intrusive as I don’t belong. In my home patch there’s a connection. People are familiar, more relaxed and trusting. They’re interested in what I’m doing. I’m not an outsider swooping in to ‘take’, rather that make a photograph, with no feel for the place.
– Sara McIntyre

Gardeners of Kākahi: Manu, 2021

I was intrigued by series of black and white photographs by an English photographer, Keith Arnatt, made in the 1970s of gardeners in their gardens The gardens tell more about the gardeners and their connection to the land than the usual portrait. I felt a new series coming on. I’ve started with Gardeners of Kākahi as a practice run delighting me and the gardeners.

Gardeners of Kākahi: Colleen, 2020

Gardeners of Kākahi: Sarah, 2020

We were in Sarah’s garden after the rain. The light was stunning, the air fresh. Sarah stopped to pick some herbs as we were heading back to the the fire and wine. I suggested a Gardeners photograph. She muttered and grumbled away ignoring my suggestion. But that was it, Sarah not posing self-consciously. I had to arrange myself quickly to get that shot before she noticed. Uncontrived. For me the image vividly captures the moment.

Gardeners of Kākahi: Maxine, 2021

Peel Forest Hall, 2021

Shirley’s Wall, 2015

Falls Dam Hut, 2021

Judy Rameka and her garden shed, 2016

Rangitata River Valley, 2021

Taumahiorongo Marae, Kākahi, 2008

Kākahi Bakery, 2018

The Bakehouse, 2021

Whakapapa Picnic, 2008

Whakapapa Cliffs, 2019

Hangi at Kākahi, 2019

Liesbeth’s Stall for Ōhura Market Day, 2015

Gathering at the Marae, 2008

Porou St, 2016

Manunui Garden, 2016

Sara McIntyre, Observations of a Rural Nurse, Massey University Press (2020)
Designed by Sarah Gladwell
Copies available from the Gallery: $60 plus postage