Marie Shannon

Rooms found only in the home

22 July 2017 - 23 October 2017

Sensitive, authentic and funny, Marie Shannon’s photography and video works present contemporary art as an intimate and immediate occupation. Her work casts light across what it means to make art; to have an everyday engagement with critical and creative processes, and to understand these from a personal point of view. 

Rooms found only in the home is developed out of holdings of Shannon’s works in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection and the artist’s personal archive. The exhibition explores the intersecting spheres of her practice; considering her different conceptual interests and dual focus on photography and video. Including works from the early 1980s up to the present day, Rooms found only in the home brings together both the history and current concerns of this important New Zealand artist.

Graduating from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1983, Shannon studied photography at a time when an emphasis was placed on the documentary or journalistic power of the image. Despite being drawn to the medium, she resisted this ‘decisive moment’ approach, and instead focused on creating carefully constructed images drawing on her own life and home environment. Framing these subjects as ones of common experience, her work gently unravels the multiple readings that exist across different understandings of home and domesticity.

Many of Shannon’s works hinge on relationships – the objects and evidence of personal interactions enacted through the course of everyday life. As she focuses attention on her family life, daily observations, and the process of art-making, a sense of past and present becomes important. Over time the concept of distance has come to play a more acute role in Shannon’s work, with the effects of separation and the passage of time becoming prevalent concerns. Her video works and recent photography introduce more of an archival tendency – a process of cataloguing the contents, absences, and memories that shape her present day.

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