The beauty and interest that can be found in our everyday landscapes is frequently under-appreciated, yet it constitutes a large part of our cultural legacy.
In preparing ‘Vernacular’, Philip Smith and David Straight have cast an enquiring eye over the length and breadth of New Zealand, to discover the forms and objects that are associated with the everyday lives of people within this country.
Far from being strictly prosaic, such landscape features often display a considerable degree of invention and a surprising level of aesthetics. Some of these occupy a very large scale, as in the case of the beautiful steps and paths of Kauaeranga Valley or Central Otago's water races, whilst others (such as industrial lamps or suburban gates) play a more minor role in our landscapes. In recording and valuing aspects of our vernacular landscapes, this project is intended as one small contribution towards gaining a better idea of what we have as a culture.