SPECIMENS, derived from the Latin verb specere ‘to look’, presents the photographer’s ongoing fascination and pleasure in looking – specifically at the model/subject which has been the focus of Ellis’ art practice for more than two decades alongside an ongoing inquiry into the form/object. The gaze is a frequently called-upon trope in the artist's lens-based image making whereas a curiosity for the object stems from her more recent direction into sculpture, working specifically with earthenware and porcelain.
Within this exhibition, SPECIMENS displays a sample of an updated taxonomy of masculine ‘types’ and collected objects via the photographic portrait and the still-life. The artist locates their shared indexical traits – similar to the lepidopterist or petrologist who collects, observes and archives species.
Meighan Ellis is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, researcher and part-time senior lecturer in Design, Fine Art and contextual studies based in Auckland. She holds a First Class Hons. with Distinction MFA and resided for a number of years in London, Sydney and Tokyo working as a fine arts/design educator, photographer and writer for various international print and on-line publications – including Tokyo Art Beat. Her practice spans photography, moving image, writing and more recently a re-acquaintance with clay after a hiatus of twenty years.
Meighan has exhibited strands of her photographic/moving image work in New Zealand, America, Europe, Australia and Japan– and her photographic and ceramic works are held in private collections in New Zealand and internationally. She is an avid rock collector – a practice (and collection) inherited from both her grandparents
SPECIMENS is part of the 2017 Auckland Festival of Photography Core programme.
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