Derek Henderson’s art practice is versatile, cultivated and elegant. It reflects the profound experiences drawn from decades of global travel, undertaken for Henderson’s professional photographic career. For editorial, advertising and fashion, his lens has recorded glimpses of a constructed, hyper-real world and these impressions have lingered in the staging of all his imagery.
Whether concerning figurative subjects, surreal interventions in landscape or subtly curated floral arrangements, there is a consistent sense of breadth and depth of vision; largely the result of his use of 4 x 5”, large format film. Henderson possesses a rare technical mastery of large format, which imparts extraordinary detail in the presentation of his subjects. It is often remarked by viewers of his work that there is mesmerising, seductive sense of depth, in which one can figuratively loose their focus.
Henderson has created major bodies of work that explore and narrate the rich natural landscapes and communities of Australia and New Zealand. Now also major artist monographs, The Terrible Boredom of Paradise and Mercy Mercer explore his New Zealand homeland, prompted by memories of his childhood. From the latter, his work, Hatepe, was the first to feature hydrangeas, a subject for which he is now well known and the inspiration for this most recent series.
Henderson’s editorial work has, for many years, been seen internationally in publications including Arena Homme +, Beat, Case Da Abitare, Fader, i-D, Museum, Nowness, Russh, Holiday, Mastermind, Vogue Australia, Wallpaper, Wire, and World of Interiors.
Henderson has been exhibiting internationally for two decades and his work is held in major public collections including The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Christchurch Art Gallery – Te Puna O Waiwhetu.