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b. 1967, New Zealand

Ann Shelton Biography

Ann Shelton’s internationally recognised large-scale, hyper real photographic works operate at the nexus of conceptual and documentary modes, investigating the social, political and historical contexts that inform readings of the landscape and its contents. Shelton, born in Timaru, is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading photographic artists. Having gained her MFA from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Shelton’s work is regularly seen in New Zealand and internationally in countries as diverse as China, Lithuania, Italy, England, Poland, Germany, Australia and Canada. She is Associate Professor in Photography at Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University in Wellington and Chairperson of Enjoy
Public Art Gallery, Wellington’s longest running artist-run space.

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Shelton’s background as a press photographer has informed her interest in the genre of documentary photography as it intersects with a photographic practice driven by ideas. In a critique of documentary’s claimed objectivity, and marking a shift away from what Henri Cartier Bresson has called the ‘decisive moment’, Shelton is less concerned with depiction of an event and more interested in capturing what has been termed the ‘after-moment.’ Her interest in photographing historically loaded sites generates works that refuse to visually represent an event as it occurred, alluding instead to what might have happened by adopting absence as a photographic device. This strategy prompts a different kind of looking, foregrounding the importance of the viewer’s engagement in creating meaning in a photograph.

Shelton’s major project a library to scale toured New Zealand and Australia in 1997. In 2009 her series Public Places in Images Recalled (Bilder auf Abruf) was exhibited in Germany’s 
largest photographic biennale, curated by Tobias Berger and Esther Ruelfs. In 2010 Shelton co-edited the publication Sightseeing: an exhibition and a publication of postcards that explore the representation of place in contemporary German and New Zealand photography – this group show included her work among eight German and eight New Zealand artists. Shelton’s work was included in Dark Sky, curated by Geoffery Batchen and Tina Barton in 2012 at The Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. In 2013, the exhibition The City of Gold and Lead at Wanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery was accompanied by an adjunct installation for New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Contemporary Museum of Art titled doublethink, a series of consecutive 
billboards on the side of S.H.3 in Taranaki’s Midhurst. Shelton’s ongoing body of work in a forest, has been seen in London, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, and will be shown this year at Espai d’art contemporani de Castello, Spain.

Shelton lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ann Shelton Featured Artworks

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Ann Shelton Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Ann Shelton, mother lode at Bartley + Company Art, Wellington
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22 July–15 August 2020 Ann Shelton mother lode Bartley + Company ArtWellington
Contemporary art exhibition, Ann Shelton, close to the wind at Two Rooms, Auckland
Closed
26 September–26 October 2019 Ann Shelton close to the wind Two RoomsAuckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Ann Shelton, the Missionaries at Two Rooms, Auckland
Closed
2–30 June 2018 Ann Shelton the Missionaries Two RoomsAuckland

Ann Shelton Represented By

Two Rooms contemporary art gallery in Auckland, New Zealand Two Rooms Auckland

Ann Shelton In Ocula Magazine

Ann Shelton Ocula Conversation Ann Shelton By Casey Carsel and Laura Thomson

Through a wide range of photographic investigations, Wellington-based artist Ann Shelton has, over her 20-year career, explored the construction of narratives that surround social, political and historical contexts. A selection of Shelton's prolific practice has been brought together in her review exhibition, Dark Matter, at Auckland Art...

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Ann Shelton In Related Press

Bouquets Highlight Plants Used to Control Women's Reproductive Health Related Press Bouquets Highlight Plants Used to Control Women's Reproductive Health 12 April 2017, Hyperallergic

Delicate and dainty, Queen Anne's Lace is a popular pick for wedding bouquets — but the white flower also has a long history as a naturally occurring contraceptive. The alleged power of its seeds, when chewed and ingested, to prevent pregnancy after sex, are recorded in ancient writings by Hippocrates to Pliny the Elder to physicians like...

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