Margaret Dawson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1950

Marching Girl

  • 1984
  • Ektacolor print on MDF
  • Gift of the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, 2022, in celebration of their 50th Anniversary 1971-2021
  • 1020 x 770mm
  • 2022/053

Margaret Dawson has lived and worked in 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. Marching Girl and Interior with Venetians were both from the Dreams and Illusions series, in which the artist used her own body as a way to show the mutability of the self and representation. One moment, a woman in marching costume strides out of the photograph, and the next, she is an anxious figure shown in her domestic setting. Taking on these two personas implies that images we see of others are similarly fleeting and unreliable; that we can all be seen in many different lights and perspectives. Sword Lily (Gladiolus) further exposes the construction of the photograph, with the backdrop hung from the washing line in the backyard, as the figure performs a sword swallowing trick.

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

Exhibition History