• Gavin Hipkins

Blue Field is a new project by Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist Gavin Hipkins. Hundreds of unique cyanotype prints form a constellation of circular shapes within an immersive gridded format. The cyanotype process was invented in the 1840s to reproduce technical drawings and scientific tables. Hipkins’ use of this process extends his camera-less photographic practice. For Blue Field (2022-24), watercolour paper is coated in light-sensitive chemicals then exposed to daylight. Hipkins places wooden painting supports on top of the paper, making traces of overlapping pairs and sets of three objects. The gridded structure of the artwork inevitably democratises any hierarchy of individual prints. Instead, each print contributes to a total system.

For three decades Hipkins has explored a range of photographic modes and technical processes, from multipart photogram installations to colour snapshot documentary projects. As art historian Peter Brunt observes, Hipkins is a constantly travelling photographer, “an iconographer of desire, travel, time and … modern communities”, and a tourist within the medium, “a great manipulator of the photographic artefact itself.”

An early multipart photogram installation, The Field (1994-95), was first exhibited in 1995 at the pivotal artist-run gallery Teststrip, on Karangahape Road. Blue Field extends Hipkins’ enquiry into how images create meaning through evolving technologies. Common to these projects is an activation of rhythmic connections through fragmentation and assemblage. Blue Field is primitive photography. In this anachronistic space, circular arrangements reference the camera’s aperture: direct light traces are crafted through an elusive materiality.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday–Friday 11am–5pm
  • Saturday 11am–3pm


  • 312B Karangahape Road
  • Corner East Street and Karangahape Road
  • Auckland 1010