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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Fiona Pardington

b. 1961, New Zealand

Fiona Pardington Biography

Fiona Pardington is a New Zealand photographer of Māori (Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Ngāti Kahungunu) and Scottish (Clan Cameron of Erracht) descent, who is highly regarded internationally and nationally because of her inventive formats, unpredictable techniques and extremely varied range of thematic exploration. She rose in national prominence in the late eighties with her silver gelatine prints that explore the body, the female gaze, sexuality, implied violence and fetishism, often coupled with elaborate frames or mounts covered with dense and ornate collaged text. She was part of the international ascendency of women photographers in the eighties that was a reaction against male dominance—particularly via painting—in art.

As demonstrated in A Beautiful Hesitation (22 August—22 November 2015), a large travelling survey show organised by City Gallery Wellington which in 2015 presented over 100 of Pardington's photographs, over the past three decades the artist has explored a startling range of subject matter, including rare or extinct bird specimens, bird nests, partially carved hei tiki (Māori neck ornaments), vanitas still lifes, 1950s soft-core porn, imperialist phrenology, children's letter writing, ornamental glass horses, plaster fungi replicas, the butterfly watercolours of Vladimir Nabokov, and fake hei tiki. She is extraordinarily prolific.

With these assorted projects she has proven herself extremely proficient in judging the nuances of scale, colour and illumination that accompany each image. Her images have a mystery and a satisfying cultural depth that draws on the history of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and its relationship with Europe.

Over the years her practice has been characterised by a wide range of mark-making and treatment of textures and movement. In the early years of her career it demonstrated a fluidity that is not typical of somebody investigating photography, but more associated with practitioners of printmaking or painting. An expert in tonal manipulation, she likes to explore different types of photographic sensuality.

As well as participating in numerous institutional exhibitions and biennales, Pardington has been the recipient of several notable accolades: In 1991 she was awarded the Moet et Chandon Artist Residency in the small village of Avize, in Champagne, Northeast France, forming a relationship with that nation that she has maintained all her life, and in 1996 and 1997 she held the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in Dunedin. In 2011, she was awarded an Arts Foundation Laureate Award as well as a Quai Branly Laureate Award: La Residence de Photoquai. She is also the only New Zealand artist to have been made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de L'ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Government—bestowed by the French Prime Minister in New Zealand in 2016.

Biography by John Hurrell | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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A85769 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA85769, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A85768 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA85768, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A85764 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA85764, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A76460 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA76460, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A69170 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA69170, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A60924 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA60924, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A39559 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA39559, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite
A33118 by Fiona Pardington contemporary artwork
Fiona PardingtonA33118, 2019 Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Starkwhite

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Fiona Pardington, TIKI: Orphans of Māoriland at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
12 June–20 July 2019 Fiona Pardington TIKI: Orphans of Māoriland Starkwhite, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Sampler at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
17 April–12 May 2018 Group Exhibition Sampler Starkwhite, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Fiona Pardington, Nabokov's Blues: The Charmed Circle at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
23 June–23 July 2017 Fiona Pardington Nabokov's Blues: The Charmed Circle Starkwhite, Auckland

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Fiona Pardington Ocula Conversation Fiona Pardington Artist, New Zealand

Working closely with City Gallery Wellington curator Aaron Lister, the New Zealand photographer Fiona Pardington has developed a retrospective that speaks to the extraordinary breadth of her practice. Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation includes very early family portraits from the 1980s alongside her well-known photographs of objects and...

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In Related Press

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The surprising links between Brexit and Oceania art exhibition Related Press The surprising links between Brexit and Oceania art exhibition New Zealand Herald : 20 October 2018

The Telegraph described it as an "ambitious and astonishing exhibition" while Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones declared he didn't just like the art but wanted to live in the world it portrays. He also speculated that modernist masters like Picasso were more influenced by Oceanic art than we might have previously realised.The opening...

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Inside the magical world of celebrated NZ artist Fiona Pardington Related Press Inside the magical world of celebrated NZ artist Fiona Pardington stuff : 15 July 2017

I was pretending I was 14 years old when in fact I'm 55...," says bruised photographer Fiona Pardington, ruefully considering the preceding day's events, which included a lost parrot and the Piha Volunteer Fire Brigade. She recently moved to a house high on the hill overlooking Lion Rock and the black iron-sand beach at Piha, on the west coast...

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ON THE ORIGIN OF ART Related Press ON THE ORIGIN OF ART ArtAsiaPacific : 29 March 2017

Like most private museums, Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is a reflection of the tastes of its founder—in this case the sex-and-death inclined David Walsh. Situated in an idyllic spot in Hobart, capital of the island state, MONA is pitched as a subversion of traditional art world institutions. Staid wall labels are abandoned in favor...

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Getting to grips with the nature of art at Mona Related Press Getting to grips with the nature of art at Mona Apollo : 23 January 2017

Since opening in 2011, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart, Australia, has put man’s biological impulses and realities at the heart of its curatorial mission. Mona’s founder David Walsh declared infamously that the only relevant themes in contemporary art (and the ones guiding his personal collection) were sex and death. Newspaper...

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In Video & Audio

Fiona Pardington - Ngā Ringa Toi o Tahu Related Video & Audio Fiona Pardington - Ngā Ringa Toi o Tahu Ngai Tahu : 5 July 2017

For several decades Dr Fiona Pardington has been a prominent figure in the contemporary art world both locally here in Aotearoa and internationally. An extraordinary talent, she has received numerous accolades for her hauntingly beautiful photographic works.

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