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<EM>Relief Hill, Nevada County</EM> by Carleton Watkins

Curator Lissa Mitchell talks about this photograph of Californian mining

Relief Hill, Nevada County by Carleton Watkins
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Lissa Mitchell</STRONG></P> <P>Here we see a hydraulic mining operation. High pressure jets of water dislodge rocks and sediments to reach valuable gold and minerals.</P> <P>Carleton Watkins’ relationship with the natural world could be seen as confusing to a modern audience. On one hand, he is most remembered for his breath-taking photographs of what is now Yosemite national park. On the other, pictures like this one celebrate mining and industry.</P> <P>This contrast can also be seen in New Zealand photography of the same period.</P> <P>In the nineteenth century, those promoting New Zealand knew that the natural landscape presented a strong ‘point of difference’ with other colonies. This idea resulted in images like the Burton Brothers’ 1885 photograph of a waterfall in Milford sound, which you can see at the entrance to the New Zealand Photography Collected exhibition.</P> <P><EM>The next dozen or so tracks on this tour take you through the exhibition, New Zealand Photography Collected, which starts at the photograph of the waterfall in the next gallery. Or, for exhibitions of New Zealand art, go to the galleries beyond the Whare Toi Arts Studio.</EM></P>

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Relief Hill, Nevada County, California

Carleton E. Watkins, Relief Hill, Nevada County, California, circa 1871, black and white photograph, albumen print
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