Human Connection was spawned in response to a Colab Studio 6 brief, titled Newsable, which asked participants to explore ways in which young Aucklanders could be engaged in an informed and meaningful discussion about housing issues in Auckland City. Gray’s approach focused on the individual-level mental health impacts of living in such a disconnected city as Auckland. The resulting outcome serves as a platform through which stories of overcoming disconnection can be told in a manner that is both emotionally engaging, and academically authoritative.
In Human Connection, Gray collaborates with Pasifika photographer, Tanu Gago, to rework the photography style of the late Herb Ritts. A series of photographs with an accompanying audio track of Gray recounting personal experiences are presented as the result of an investigation into the importance of meaningful social connection.
Human Connection is about recognising the importance of connectedness, and the dangers of disconnection. Gray’s work demonstrates how the state of housing in Auckland leaves newcomers with inadequate and insecure housing options that pose real and serious health threats. Human Connection offers a proposition to Aucklanders to step outside of the constructs of pride and shame, and take meaningful steps toward building a connected and welcoming place to call home.
To view the Sway documentation of this project, which includes its audio component and full conceptual rational, visit https://sway.com/Ld5mD5R22CyxmSl6