Ann Shelton
Ann Shelton's large scale, hyper-real images mix conceptual and documentary modes of photography, investigating the social, political and historical contexts that inform readings of nature and landscape.

In Shelton's work, what is visually absent is as important as what is present. Her work is haunted by what is not seen. Shelton's practice, built on foundations of deep research, challenges the traditional convention of photography that what you see is the subject. While the subjectivity, the questionable truth, of documentary photography has long been understood her work operates in what is called an expanded field where the image itself is the apex of a myriad complex of underlying ideas.

Mirroring, inverting, doubling, pairing, along with clear titles, are strategies Shelton employs to encourage the viewer to question the image, to suggest that all is not as it seems and to invite us into a deeper, broader experience of the work.

A major review of the photographer's 20 years of practice - Ann Shelton: Dark Matter showed at Auckland Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery from later 2016 - 2018. Promoted as offering a fresh insight into the artist's deeply researched and explorative imagery, the exhibition uncovers the dark matter or unknown substance in her art in which time, place, narrative, trauma and female authorship unfold in shifting and destabilising ways.

In the 300 page book Dark Matter, produced to accompany the exhibition, Ann's aesthetic is described by Dr Cassandra Barnett as including "doublings and multiples, decenterings, exclusions and displacements; stories buried or undone; surface visuality and dark depths; control and the uncontrollable."

Shelton's recent series - jane says and the missionaries - also allude to concealed stories. Dramatic, large-scale, richly coloured photographic works, they draw from Ikebana and western floral traditions to reference little known histories of plant use in fertility control and colonisation.

Ann Shelton is recognised as one of New Zealand's leading photographic artists and is the paramount winner of two New Zealand contemporary art awards (the 2010 COCA Anthony Harper Contemporary Art Award and the 2006 Trust Waikato Contemporary Art Award). Her work has been widely exhibited and features in numerous public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas. Ann lives in Wellington.
Jane Says - Installation View
2017
Ann Shelton
Inside, Sydney , -
Jane Says - Installation View
2017
Ann Shelton
Inside, Sydney , -
The Witch, Penny Royal (Mentha sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Witch, Penny Royal (Mentha sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Nurse, Opium poppy (Papaver sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Nurse, Opium poppy (Papaver sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
David at 23A Gallery Opening
2021
Ann Shelton
Redeye Series, C-type photograph, -
David at 23A Gallery Opening
2021
Ann Shelton
Redeye Series, C-type photograph, -

SOLD
Redeye - installation, The Dowse
1998
Ann Shelton
Redeye - installation, The Dowse
1998
Ann Shelton
The Banshee, Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm
The Banshee, Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm
The Sibyl, Sage (Salvia sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Sibyl, Sage (Salvia sp.)
2020
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
Untitled (Imentet, Ra)
2020
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print, hand-painted artist frame, 1120 x 760mm
Untitled (Imentet, Ra)
2020
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print, hand-painted artist frame, 1120 x 760mm
Untitled (she who carries the shit, decomposition)
2020
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print, hand-painted artist frame, 1120 x 760mm
Untitled (she who carries the shit, decomposition)
2020
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print, hand-painted artist frame, 1120 x 760mm
The Ingenue, Yarrow (Achillea sp.)
2016
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Ingenue, Yarrow (Achillea sp.)
2016
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Kept Woman, Aloe (Aloe sp.)
2016
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Kept Woman, Aloe (Aloe sp.)
2016
Ann Shelton
pigment print, 1119 x 840 mm
The Governess, Darwin's Barberry (Berberis darwinii)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm
The Governess, Darwin's Barberry (Berberis darwinii)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm
The Seamstress, Dock (Rumex obtusifolius L)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm
The Seamstress, Dock (Rumex obtusifolius L)
2017
Ann Shelton
archival pigment print in hand painted artist frame, 1160 x 880 mm