Auckland-based artist Marie Shannon has been creating delicately intimate and thoughtful works for over thirty years. While her immediate domestic surroundings have remained her primary concern, her work has at times addressed the artwork of others as a way to investigate the creative process. Working with photography as her principal medium, Shannon’s practice also incorporates drawing and video.
Shannon’s photographs are made on a large-format camera, resulting in sharp, finely detailed images. She often stages or carefully constructs her photographs, or documents the process of making objects that are then photographed. Shannon is also interested in the narrative or poetic resonance of the single object. Past subjects have included photographs of her son Leo’s sketchbook and love notes; oil pastel installation sketches of her show at Sue Crockford Gallery; an embroidered fabric collage of a Gordon Walters koru painting, and photographs of the plaster cast made as part of the process of her partner’s radiation therapy.
Following the death of her partner, artist Julian Dashper, in 2009, Shannon has been cataloguing his works and archive in their shared Auckland studio. From this lengthy process she has gathered the material for her recent text-based video works and related photographs. Her desire to use text in a visual, as well as a narrative context, stems from an interest in the conventions of text titles and credits in movies.
Graduating with a BFA from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1983, Shannon has continued to exhibit her work in both solo and group shows in New Zealand, and abroad. Shannon represented New Zealand in 1996 at the Asia Pacific Triennale held at Queensland Art Gallery, and also exhibited that year in Sydney at the Australian Centre for Photography. Two years later Shannon showed at the Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. In 2000 her work was included in the exhibition Fissures, shown at ACProjects, New York, curated by Connie Butler as part of the series, Five Shows, Five Curators. Her survey exhibition, Rooms found only in the home, was developed by Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2017, toured to Victoria University’s Adam Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery in 2018 and to Auckland’s Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in 2019.
Shannon lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.