Artist reflects ray of hope

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By SHELLEY TOPP

Tim Stephenson’s new photographic exhibition reflects his journey back from near death after a bad jet-ski accident.

Hope – Shining a Light Into the Dark opened in the Art on the Quay Gallery in the Kaiapoi Library on Thursday evening last week.

Tim was paralysed from the neck down in the accident but made a miraculous recovery to walk again after 10 days in intensive care at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.

This exhibition is his pictorial and poetic journey of hope which played a pivotal role in his recovery.

“As many of us have, I have had some challenging times; death of loved ones, earthquakes and a recent spinal cord injury,” Tim says.

“Sometimes that can lead to some dark times when life is uncertain and confusing. That is when hope becomes so important. When things get tough hope is the thing that you really need to keep going. There are many aspects to hope and I only briefly touch on a few of them here.”

Each photograph in the exhibition is accompanied with an explanatory poem.

Tim’s beautiful layered photograph of seagulls on the beach called “A Gathering” is about “Friends and family. Coming and going. Talking and feeding as the waves of life roll in. A great source of hope. Gathering around to support and share.”

Tim and his wife Ann Worthy Stephenson live at Kairaki Beach. Ann is also a photographer and had a successful exhibition The Imaginarium of Ann Worthy Stephenson at Art on the Quay in September last year.

They both work from home. Ann has a business called PhotoWorthy Images and Tim’s business is Tim Stephenson Design.

Tim says he finds photography much more than a creative medium. “That act of taking an image with an intention in mind often provides much, much more than a record of what is in front of the camera,” he says.

An example of this is the clever Glass Half Full image depicting a feast laid out on a table in shade and light. “If seen half full the light of hope shines on the feast. If seen half empty the same feast is degraded and dark.”

Tim was presented with a Waimakariri District Council Community Services Award last year. His community work achieved further recognition recently when he was featured on One News’ Good Sorts segment for his role in the design and construction of the new Pines and Kairaki Beach Town Hall.

Hope – Shining a Light Into the Dark closes on Wednesday October 4.