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Kathryn McCool

P.North, Kathryn McCool

Kathryn McCoolP.North
Kathryn McCool
Perimeter Books


Edition of 700
96 pages
185 x 225 mm
ISBN 978922545145


The title P.North doesn’t refer to a place in the purest sense of the word. Drawing on a series of photographs made in rural New Zealand and Australia chiefly during the 1980s and 1990s, Kathryn McCool’s debut book floats between decades, locations, people, and the less palpable dynamics that connect them.

Shopkeepers, youths, churchgoers, young children, and animals populate these photographs – nondescript landscapes and sleepy, small-town goings-on building a strangely loaded backdrop. McCool’s unusual photographic signature only feeds this intangible atmosphere. Shifting focal points, analogue detritus, and incursions into the frame – by way of an errant arm, shadow or balloon – evoke both a tenderness and an unease. Whichever the case, these images hold great weight and presence. Almost every character and every composition elicits a double take. The seemingly benign distorts towards disquiet; the malevolent dissipates into innocence.

Contemplating her own questions of memory, faith, impression, and encounter, McCool pictures her subjects with genuine dignity and humour. And it is here that P.North finds its bearings. McCool has spoken about how she found a kind of solace in the awkward intensity and connection of the photographic exchange. By locking gazes with her subjects – flawed and complex as they and we all are – she reveals an endeavour to understand herself.

About the Artist
New Zealand-born photographer Kathryn McCool has lived and worked in Australia since 1994. Her photographs have been shown in galleries across New Zealand including Manawatu Gallery, Wellington City Gallery, Govett-Brewster Gallery and Anna Bibby Gallery. In Australia, McCool has exhibited at Westspace, Blindside, Castlemaine Art Gallery and La Trobe Gallery, Bendigo. In 2011 her documentary film Sand Mountain received a nomination for Oxford American Best Southern Film at Little Rock Film Festival, Arkansas in the US.

About the Publisher
Perimeter Editions is the award-winning publishing imprint of Melbourne-based bookstore Perimeter Books and distribution house Perimeter Distribution. Releasing its first publication in 2012, Perimeter Editions’ focus rests on publishing autonomous books in close collaboration with photographers, artists, curators and writers. Its publications exhibit a criticality and sensitivity to content and form.