Artists, writers and curators speak with passion and insight about Ann Shelton's work and its historical and contemporary contexts. Shelton herself provides much of the guiding narration. The film explores the visual themes and motifs of Shelton’s work, tracing its origins in the history and landscapes of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Ann Shelton left her hometown of Timaru in the 80s on a mission. Her sense of social justice coupled with an interest in human narratives saw her working as one of New Zealand’s first female press photographers at the Dominion in Wellington. From there she moved to K Road in Auckland, and attended Elam School of Fine Arts in the 90's. Her seminal project Redeye captured the zeitgeist of that time, and catapulted her to public notoriety. Over twenty-five years Shelton has made many rich and complex bodies of work that unearth local mythologies, 'ghosted' stories and characters previously written out of history. Her photographs and artist's books form a significant contribution to the history of contemporary photographic practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand
This Air is a Material deepens the understanding of this important artist and her work. With interviews, high-quality footage of Shelton’s artwork and archival imagery, the documentary not only illuminates her practice but also the small towns, urban myths and creative communities that shaped it.
Produced and directed by Becky Nunes.
Made with the support of Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design and the Chartwell Trust.
Ann Shelton: Dark Matter
An expansive view of Ann Shelton’s tightly conceived, large scale and hyperreal photography
Representing Women: Ann Shelton’s Dark Matter
What is ‘dark matter’? For theoretical physicists it is matter that cannot be directly observed but whose existence is nevertheless scientifically calculable – productively present yet simultaneously invisible. In a similar vein, the everyday phrase ‘dark matter’ describes objects, conditions and situations that harbour unease or trauma. Trauma that is often concealed, repressed, or buried. Both definitions are active in Ann Shelton’s mid-career review exhibition Dark Matter, and they provide a rich point of entry into this compelling collection of her photographic work. These are photographs that bristle with intensity and refuse to let their subjects die a quiet archival death.
Artist and filmmaker David Lynch discusses his early life and the events that shaped his outlook on art and the creative process in this incredible documentary.