gebhard krewitt photography

Nelson New Zealand



The 1st World War is the national trauma of the people of New Zealand and the centenary of the beginning of WW1 was commemorated all over New Zealand. For my project Re:enactment I searched through the Nelson Provincial Museum’s photographic collection and selected 50 images that were in good condition, had interesting subject matter and connected the region to WW1.

The Nelson Provincial Museum‘s photographic collection is an extensive record of Nelson region‘s social history and development, spanning the entire period from the 1860s to the present day. The collection forms a unique and detailed continuous documentation of the region.

With photocopies of these images in my hands I wandered through Nelson and the immediate environment and tried to find the exact spot where a historical photograph had been taken 100 years ago. Once located, I recreated the same frame by shooting the image in similar light conditions, or focusing on a contemporary event being held in the same place. The majority of the images are diptychs: a historical image paired with my digital photograph. Other project images are a blend – where historical elements, like tents, horses and men, appear in black and white and the surrounding countryside in digital colours.

Re:enactment provides the opportunity to explore these historical pictures and rediscover where in the region the places are. This in turn adds new values to these images from 100 years ago. I am connecting the past to the present.

My selection of historical photographs were photographed by Frederick Nelson Jones. Frederick Nelson Jones, called Pompy, was born in Nelson on 4 May 1881 and died in Nelson on 29 August 1962.


The Camp at Tapawera. Nelson NZ, April 1914 Nelson Provincial Museum, F N Jones Collection: 309977



Copyright Gebhard Krewitt