New Zealand photographer Tim White returned home in 2004 after living in London and Sydney for 14 years .The decade in London greatly influenced him with its abundance of galleries , photographic shows and book stores , introducing him to great American ‘documentary style’ photographers like Walker Evans , Robert Frank , Danny Lyon and Joel Sternfeld who have all become influential in his work.
What does True North mean? While we can find north with the aid of a compass, are we able to discover so easily that which is true? The camera, with its ability to document the moment, certainly doesn't help. They say that the camera never lies. Well, that’s a lie for a start. Photographer Richard Avedon once claimed, “All photographs are accurate, none of them is the truth.” I am inclined to agree with him. They are accurate in their capacity to capture, but whose truth do they represent?
“Photographs lie. Words lie. The media lies. But does it matter?" asks Tim White. "Truth and lies are relative to the observer and the observed.”
This was something very much in White’s mind when he travelled to the far north of New Zealand, camera in hand. “The original attraction of this project was that this area had a reputation as being the most ‘Maori’ place in New Zealand; a mysteriously spiritual place with a sense of dark ‘hopelessness’ about it. But after spending four years meeting and entering the lives of different people and families, this ‘truth’ turned out to be anything but. In fact, their way of life is full of light; the people full of love.”