Senior lecturer, Whiti o Rehua School of Art and Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design
David Cook is a documentary photographer whose published and exhibited work explores themes of contested space. Cook teaches photography in the undergraduate programmes at Whiti o Rehua School of Art.
Documentary photography, the photo-book, contested space, ethnographic practice, bi-cultural practice, participatory media.
Lake of Coal: The Disappearance of a Mining Township (2006)
Lake of Coal is a sole-authored book that traces the social and environmental impact of energy developments on Rotowaro, the largest opencast mining operation in New Zealand’s north island. The publication brings together 20 years of research, weaving a multi-vocal text of photographs, artefacts, drawings and oral histories that account for the forced displacement of 400 resident-workers from their homes. Lake of Coal was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
River/Road: Journeys Through Ecology (2011)
River/Road is a book that takes an intimate look at factors shaping the ecology of a 20 km stretch of river and road. David Cook’s photographic narrative is accompanied by Wiremu Puke’s text, setting up a bi-cultural dialogue that emphasises the active venture of ‘reading’ the landscape. The third author, graphic designer Jonty Valentine, navigates the reader through a multi-layered account of space and time.
David Cook and Tim J. Veling facilitated a participatory media project in which 60 pupils from Freeville School in Christchurch were asked, “How do you see the future of your community?” In light of recent earthquake impacts and impending school closure pupils responded using photography, montage and words. Their stories, combined with David and Tim’s photographs, came together as a billboard-sized public artwork in The Transitional Economic Zone of Aotearoa (TEZA) in Christchurch. The Freeville project is also archived in the University of Canterbury’s Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project.
DipFA (University of Canterbury)
BSc (University of Canterbury)
MFA (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)