Hendrix Arnold is a second year student studying photography at Massey’s Wellington Campus. Arnold’s powerful work depicts sites around the lower North Island where violent crimes and offences took place. The young photographer sat down to chat with Massive Magazine.
My project focuses on sites in the Horowhenua and Wellington region where violent crimes and offences have been committed. Most of time these stories never get brought to the wider public’s attention, and people tend to engage with these places completely unaware of what could have happened there. I was working on a series about New Zealand child abuse and child mortality and I ended up opening the project up to sites of violent crimes. As part of this I spent a lot of time looking at Sternfeld’s work On This Site, trying to approach the locations in a similar manner. I think it was definitely moving in its own way. It was a kind of humbling feeling knowing what had happened there, and it made me realise that I was shooting more than what was simply in front of the camera. There was a site where we ended up going back three times. Each time we’d go back in a different car and it would break down at the same point making it difficult to try and get a good photograph. I knew of three [of the sites] personally so those are the ones I started with. After that I looked at old news reports and was recommended a book in the university library called Wellington the Dark Side, which catalogued a lot of local crime scenes and locations with violent histories. I want to continue the project at some point, there were a lot of places I didn’t have enough time to visit.
– As told to Massive Magazine