Margaret Dawson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1950

Consuming the Veneer

  • 1987
  • C-type print
  • Gift of the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, 2022, in celebration of their 50th Anniversary 1971-2021
  • 1000 x 950mm
  • 2022/051

Margaret Dawson has lived and worked in Ōtautahi Christchurch since the late 1970s. Her work uses photography as a means to explore identity and gender roles through carefully constructed images of herself and others. This work is from the Marg N L Persona series, using her own body as way to show the mutability of the self and representation. Here, a woman bites down hard on the auto-release cable for the camera. Snap. In the background we can just make out the headlands and Lyttleton Harbour, as seen from Governors Bay wharf. Other works in the series show the same woman, yet she is wildly unrecognisable. Margaret suggests that the images we see of others are similarly fleeting and unreliable; that we can all be seen in many different lights and perspectives.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History