The Space Between Words

As 2011 Fellow of the NZ Mental Health Media Grant, the photojournalist exhibition The Space Between Words came to life. The project examined, through portraits and interviews, the inner journeys and responses of individuals to the Canterbury earthquakes.

The Space Between Words was exhibited at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington for seven months, in Auckland as part of the Festival of Photography, and in Christchurch by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. In August 2013 the project received an Australasian Mental Health Services award for Mental Health Promotion, and the content accessed by Red Cross for use in training material.  It has now been archived as part of the CEISMIC digital archive. 

The simple act of story telling through words and photographs told the story of the people of Christchurch as hadn’t been done before. 

Wendy Griffiths : "The beach is a power far greater than myself. It has been a place of letting go, where I could sing, pray and cry. It also became a place for me to restore my energy, and for that I am very grateful."

Louis Harrison-Aydon : "I have visited Joe's graveyard several times. I went out there the first with Mum, and on the anniversary of his death with a group of others. But mostly I like to go there by myself. It's a relaxing place. All the stress has gone. I don't feel alone or stay for long, but it's a nice break from the world." 

Meredith Dyer : "Following the earthquakes I craved safe and secure places to go with my son. The Botanical Gardens provided us with a place to visit where I didn't feel scared and vulnerable. I valued the calm and serenity."

Gerard Smythe : "About 36 hours after the quake I saw the Basilica for the first time. The adrenalin I had felt up to that time suddenly flooded out as emotion. I burst into tears, which felt like I was letting my breath out for the first time. The Basilica had been so familiar in my early life, It was the largest strongest building I knew. Now it was down."

Jolene Parker : "This was where my nana's home stood where she had lived for 62 years. A lot of wonderful life memories are tied up with this space. After her house was red stickered, she accepted the need to move on so graciously. She has been an amazing inspiration to me through my life."

Colleen McClure : "The gratitude wall was started on my birthday as a space for family and friends to give thanks for the things we did have. People just loved expressing thanks and there seemed a real sparkle in the process of doing it. However, as time has gone by and everything is drawn out, unfortunately contributions to the wall seem to have stopped."