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Derek Henderson, foreword by Jan Bryant, design by Fabio Ongarato

Michael Lett, 2009
140 pages
Full colour illustrations
ISBN: 9780958283144

Featuring over 100 colour photographs Mercy Mercer is Henderson's long awaited second monograph, following the release of his critically acclaimed The Terrible Boredom of Paradise in 2005. From abandoned rural New Zealand landscapes and the residents of the alternative communities that line the Waikato River, to Maori teenagers and workers at the Waitoa Slaughterhouse, to fashion models and intimate moments from his private life, Henderson's vast and varied subject matter is united by an approach marked by a kind of democratic naturalism, where all phenomena, no matter how insignificant or commonplace, is given equal attention.

Although variously described as anti-heroic and anti-iconic, Henderson's interest in the ordinary can be deceptive and his narratives often reveal themselves to be more complex and unsteady than they first appear. Mercy Mercer's 128 colour photographs of the Waikato river, its neighbours, travelers, typically New Zealand in flavour, are punctuated by unexpected moments that tell unofficial stories of New Zealand; tales of colonial invasion, poverty, immigration, boredom, and the ecological degradation of the landscape at the hands of commerce.

Derek Henderson is one of New Zealand's most renowned and dynamic photographers. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand, the U.K. and Australia and his photographs have been published worldwide in publications such as Wallpaper, Vogue, Russh, ID, Arena Homme Plus, The Independent and The Observer. Mercy Mercer features an introduction by Jan Bryant, AUT School of Art and Design's Head of Research.


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