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Updated: Oct 21, 2020

When Solomon Mortimer missed a call from Garth Gallaway, he jumped online and discovered that a partner at Chapman Tripp wanted to talk to him. ‘I was thinking, OK, this is either going to be very good or very bad,’ says Solomon.

Solomon Mortimer, Reading glasses from the estate of David Hugh-Proppet Mortimer #3 (2011). Image courtesy of the artist.

It turned out to be very good. Solomon was told by the Arts Foundation chair that he was the laureate receiving the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, and $25,000. ‘That was a massive relief and emotionally a very tense experience.’

Solomon says he’s hesitant to narrow his approach down to a fixed mode or set of signifiers. ‘I really don't know what's going to make a good photograph. And so I have to take chances, and I enjoy taking chances. I enjoy it when I'm surprised, irritated or beguiled by an image to the point where it's almost like a mild form of Stockholm Syndrome.’

Solomon regularly exhibits both in New Zealand and abroad and has prints in a number of public collections. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts with first class honours from Elam School of Fine Arts and is represented by Anna Miles Gallery in Auckland.

First published Art Zone #81


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