• Ophelia Harradine Bayly

In Witching Hour, Ophelia Harradine Bayly attests to the world of infancy and motherhood. Commemorating her daughter’s first year of life, Harradine Bayly carries a camera into the ephemera of early childhood, searching for sensual memories. Though Witching Hour is more than a Mother’s doting portrait, as unfettered materials enter her lens, describing unhinged terrains.

Extending a photographic practice that searches among the everyday, Harradine Bayly looks closer in Witching Hour, attending to surface and skin alike. The Mother’s body appears alongside the child’s, and the flesh made indistinguishable through Harradine Bayly’s forensic attention. This slip between the Mother and the Child is laced with art historical and developmental resonances, as the two hold a unity of touch after birth.

Witching Hour wanders, drifting into the tedium and meditation of an infant's presence. Yet another bubble is blown, and the feeding is felt through every pore of the skin. The Mother sometimes intervenes in the child's world, laying daisies like a constellation among the first curls. The materials of a home are seen anew as the mother's camera traces the child’s attention, recalling the nipple, the crumb, and the woollen fleece.

Witching Hour resides in a tradition of ‘the familial’ that includes Sharron Olds and Catherine Opie, queer and feminist perspectives that speak to the tension and tenderness within our intimate bonds. Harradine Bayly embodies this praxis, and Witching Hour carries the sombre mood of a difficult adoration. Here, artistry contends with daily joys and tribulations as moments are carved out for remembrance from the mother’s eye.

About the Artist

Ophelia Harradine Bayly (1991) is a photographer who delves into the tender invocations of film. Working in 35mm and 120mm formats, Harradine Bayly summons the image as a testament, working within a language of intimacy to cast images that feel closely held. Formal concerns are central to the practice that explores the objecthood of photography, often engaging the image through methods of installation and framing.

Harradine Bayly has exhibited broadly throughout Aotearoa, with recent solo exhibitions at Laree Payne Gallery and Parlour Projects. Harradine Bayly is an active contributor to the artist-run and commercial art contexts, having co-founded FUZZYVIBES (2013-16), May Fair Art Fair (2020), and most recently, Paper Anniversary (2022–), a commercial gallery that specialises in emergent contemporary practices.

Window Gallery at 454 Karangahape Road

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  • 454 Karangahape Road
  • Auckland CBD
  • Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 1010