Fiona Pardington’s fields of investigation have been psychoanalysis, medicine, voyeurism, memory and the body, the history of the photographic image and the nature of the relationship between the photographer and subject, particularly as it relates to sexual difference, through the ambiguities of a simultaneous solicitation and resistance. She is best known as a specialist in ‘pure’ or analogue photographic darkroom technique, most notably hand printing and toning.
Recently her photographs have returned to the formality of the photographic still life, particularly in relationship to taonga (treasured) artifacts found in museums.
Mauria mai, tono ano is a series of evocative photographs on ancestral greenstone heitiki photographed from the collection of the Auckland Museum. The foetal-like heitiki carry the whakapapa (geneology) of geographical points in Te Wai Ponnamu (South Island), offering limitless ways of seeing traditional objects through contemporary eyes. A suite of her Heitiki are being gifted to the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris by the New Zealand government.
Pardington has received many fellowships, residencies, awards and grants, including the Ngai Tahu residency at Otago polytechnic 2006 , Frances Hodgkins Fellow in both 1996 & 97, Visa Gold Art Award 1997 and The Moet & Chandon Fellow, France, 1991-92.
An extensive exhibition history both locally and internationally includes the recent exhibition in Valencia at the Casa Museo Benlliure, ULTRAMarte, Contemporary Art From New Zealand. Selected public shows include Te Hei Tiki Auckland City Gallery 2005, Public/Private The 2nd Auckland Triennial 2004, and the Arts and Industry Urban Biennial, 2004.
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