Anne Noble (b. Whanganui, Aotearoa New Zealand) is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most widely recognised and respected contemporary photographers. Noble has been at the forefront of photographic practice in New Zealand since first attracting attention in the early 1980s with her acclaimed photographs of the Wanganui River. Noble has since created bodies of work as ‘essays’ or ‘narratives’ that mark her sustained engagement with particular sites and species, most notably her decade-long project on Antarctica. Noble’s images are renowned for their beauty, complexity and conceptual rigour and for their persistent inquiry into the methods through which we perceive and come to understand the natural world.
Recent work has centred on the physiology and contemporary predicament of the honeybee and charts several projects in which Noble has collaborated with researchers and scientists to develop images that articulate the delicate majesty of these beings. The most recent iteration of this ongoing project, Conversation: A cabinet of wonder was exhibited at The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at QAGOMA (2018-19). Anne Noble is a Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts (Photography) at Massey University, Wellington and is the recipient of numerous awards including the 31st Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award (2015), a Fulbright Fellowship at Columbia College, Chicago (2014), an Arts Foundation Laureate Award (2009), US National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Award (2008).
Her latest body of work revisits Ratanui, a 500-year Northern Rata in the Tarapuruhi bush sanctuary north of Whanganui where Anne Noble grew up. Noble first photographed the tree in 1978 and, in the summer of 2021 while on the artist residency at Tylee Cottage Whanganui, she revisited the sanctuary to create the new work from her earlier research.