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, including text-based video made with material mined from her partner’s archive, artist Julian Dashper, after his premature death.
Shannon’s use of a large format camera and her own hand-printing resulted in sharp, finely detailed silver gelatin photographs variously toned with sepia, selenium and gold. From small to relatively small in scale, Shannon’s images pay attention to the poetic resonance of the single object that can deliver remarkable emotional density and weight. Past subjects have included photographs of her son Leo’s sketchbook and love notes; 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.
Graduating with a BFA from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1983, Shannon has been critically acclaimed since 1996 in representing New Zealand at Australia’s Asia-Pacific Triennale. That same year she exhibited in Sydney’s Australian Centre for Photography, then in 1998 at New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster and Melbourne’s ACCA. More recently, her work was included in exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, and Amsterdam. Her touring survey exhibition, Rooms found only in the home, was developed by Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2018 and toured to Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, before its planned Australian leg at Sydney’s MCA in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Shannon lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.