Start Date
11 October -  
End Date
25 October 2019


Christina Little / Talia Merrin
Main Image
Chrissie Little - photograph

This fortnight, Lightbox is pleased to present the work of Christina Little and the writing of Talia Merrin. Both running until October 25th and curated by Melina Payne, Talia writes in response to Christina's work creating a dialogue between image and text. 

Artist Christina Little explains:

"This is a photograph taken at Rocky Bay, Porirua. The image is both familiar, yet ambiguous. I liked the idea of isolating a specific fragment of the shoreline and removing the context from the viewer."

Christina Little is a New Zealand born artist photographer based in Wellington. Christina creates contemporary photographic works through the isolation of nature’s movement, light, shadows and textures. Her work usually includes both creative investigation and learning about the topography and natural history of the location, this has included Marlborough Sounds, and the Greater Wellington region. Christina’s images are both familiar, yet ambiguous. They play with our perception of scale and reality; and could be perceived as microscopic studies or macroscopic bodies. Christina’s prefers to use the camera hand-held rather than on a tripod, giving her greater control when capturing where the natural movements are in the subjects producing painterly and lyrical abstractions.

In response, Talia Merrin writes:

There is a world before me now

So viscerally I see


Each colour a kingdom below the sea

Reflecting an inbetween

Where two lights meet.


I look from above

But imagine my feet

ankles deep

As they dip and sink

Into the salt

Into the sand

Into a pool


But life how it seems

The colours steep

The colours flow

The colours create


Pockets, that mirror everything

White also hiding

There is so much more to see


These waters

Cool and crisp

Not warm and sweet

My breath leaves

Picked up by the wind

Rippling the surface

Together they snicker

Whispering something other

Something wild

To those by the shoreline

They want to claw the rocks underneath

Shape underwater pottery

Stealing the colours

For selfish artistry.

Start Date
26 September -  
End Date
11 October 2019

eye of the bovine

Sabina Rizos-Shaw & Siân Stephens
Main Image
lightbox artwork

Lightbox is pleased to present 'Eye of the Bovine', a growing collaborative show by Sabina Rizos-Shaw and Siân Stephens, on until the 11th of October and curated by Melina Payne

'Eye of the Bovine' is an exploration of a satirical approach to activism through multi-media art about the ethical conundrum of animal agriculture, drawing from Rhydian Thomas's not-so-fictitious universe of Milk Island.

Beginning with Siân's milk carton, Siân and Sabina will take turns producing an artwork for Lightbox. This will see Lightbox slowly fill with more work as time progresses, creating a dialogue between the two artist's practices.

About the artists:

Siân Stephens is a painter and video artist whose practice explores the unseen and disturbing realities of animal agriculture. The underlying tone of the work is activism based, and the subject matter is an honest display of the unnatural experiences of cattle in the process leading up to beef and milk appearing on the supermarket shelves. All the work is made in the hope that, if discovered through a visual art platform, the viewer is inspired to re-evaluate their relationship with the animals that are so lavishly used as resources; a truthful and confronting appeal for compassion, through large scale oil paintings and graphic video art. A desire to open critical discussion on how the consumption of animal bi-products became normalised, is the artist’s foremost intention.   

Sabina Rizos-Shaw is a Wellington based artist who recently finished a Fine Arts Honours degree at Massey University. Her practice is focused around textiles, painting and sculpture. She uses the process of creating to work through personal feelings, employing humour and a certain mediation to obscure sincere undertones, aided by her use of a bright, naïve aesthetic. Often the work is somewhat a pastiche. She enjoys exploring themes of construction and articulation of the self, construction and articulation of artworks, overcoming trauma, as well as performance and viewer participation.  

In response, Sarah Robinson writes:

Me: “What do you think about the dairy industry in New Zealand?”
Most people: “I don’t know… I’ve never really thought about it before, I guess.”

A fairly innocuous question, but perhaps it’s a little more than that. For most people, we know the dairy industry exists and we know it’s a huge part of Aotearoa’s economy and livelihood, but I’d hazard a guess that not a lot of us think about it beyond this. I know I don’t. 

Eye of the Bovine encourages us to think a little more closely about this all-important, true-blue, hard-yakka Kiwi industry, the choices we make that relate to it and the assumptions we hold about it. It’s not an attempt at sermon, lecture, criticism or guilt-trip; it’s an invitation to a conversation about the ethical conundrum of animal agriculture. The works’ satirical and extreme nature is intended to draw attention to issues that should be more widely talked about and acknowledged: the animal ‘other’ and the female body, exploitation, trauma, consent, national identity and the importance we place on this industry, nationalism and capitalism, the normalization of certain practices in Aotearoa, and the perceived ‘need’ for dairy products and the lengths we go to to have them.

Sian and Sabina’s styles are very different, Sabina uses textiles, sculpture and painting to bring her ideas to life, while Sian employs painting and video to express hers. Sian’s works are often beautifully crafted but fundamentally difficult to look at. Sabina’s are subversive and ironic, pulling viewers in to a new state of mind, an alternative way of looking at things. The juxtaposition and accumulation of the works is itself a conversation; the artists speak to each other and respond to each subsequent work with another of their own, thereby continuing the conversation beyond the different media they use. The artworks themselves are also a point of conversation; you may love or hate them, or you may remain indifferent, who knows.They are designed to be humorous and satirical in a way that makes art and activism simultaneously accessible and profound, and we hope that, at the very least, they incite something in you - maybe just an internal dialogue or maybe one that you share with others, that’s up to you.

Sian and Sabina’s collaboration is born out of a desire to address the above issues, as well as a mutual understanding and wariness of the industry and what it means for the animals at the center of it. Working together previously on several projects, this topic arose naturally for the pair. Sian’s interest in the rights of cows spans three years and extends to of her wider practice, while Sabina’s interest in satirical art brought her onto the scene just a few months ago; the works are inspired by Rhydian Thomas’s Milk Island and their own personal perspectives on cows, art and activism. 

After working together on a group show, Atom Heart Mother, these ideas became a conversation and have further developed into Eye of the Bovine. The works are a nod to both Thomas’s intriguing and illuminating collection of stories, and an exploration of their own agri-sentiments. It is now our turn to take part in this conversation, thinking perhaps a little more critically about how we engage with dairy in New Zealand. At the same time, though, maybe you don’t want to think more critically, maybe you already are or maybe you’re happier not thinking about it at all. Either way, you’ll hopefully think about your response to my opening question and to these artworks, and maybe that’s enough. The point is: this exhibition doesn’t seek to shock or disgust people into agreeing with the artists, it seeks to draw out your own personal and organic reactions and leave you to fill in the blanks. Or to talk about it with others, and spread that seed far and wide.

As the conversation progresses, and as each new work is added, I’ll write a little something here in response. Please feel free to do the same by submitting feedback in whatever way you see fit, by using the hashtag #ilovemilkymoo. Remember that the cows won’t ever get this opportunity, so it could be up to you to speak for them.

Start Date
11 September -  
End Date
25 September 2019


Robert Laking
Main Image
robert laking artwork: untitled

Curated by Melina Payne.

Artist Robert Laking explains:

"I found this drawing on Manners Street. It was mid afternoon, and I was on my way to my studio.

I find it amusing that the worksheet was imagining the year 2010. Other than this annum, there are few clues offered as to the time this drawing was created. The 2,222,222 emblazoned on the port side of the plane could hint at this being a prediction for 2222222AD, at least 2,220,210 years beyond the suggested timeframe. Similarly, it is an anonymous creation.

I appreciate the minimal yet realistic colouring of the designated drawing space, with the artist instead opting to freestyle on the other side of the page. 

The company name ’AIR CHOCOLate’ isn’t far off from the absurdity of Flamingo scooters and Onzo bikes which populate Wellington’s streets in 2019. Nor is it far off from Air New Zealand’s recent promotional ‘rebranding’ as Air All Blacks. I wonder whether the fictitious company may be embracing its reputation for delays by branding itself as Choco-Late. Alternatively, ’ate’ can also be interpreted as synonymous with eaten.

The green and brown colour pairing hint at Aero Mint Chocolate. Aerated chocolate would make for an adequately lightweight material for an aeroplane, while maintaining its structural integrity. Which raises the question: would a Cadbury Chocolate Aeroplane be fuelled by palm oil?

The chocolate coloured slide, acting as a chute for what appears to be the Sun, is a nice detail. One would hope that the artist was inspired by a local playground on a sunny day, as opposed to an aeronautical catastrophe. By extension, one would hope that the Sun isn’t in fact a lone survivor engulfed in flames. Of course this is unlikely to be the case, but it cannot be ruled out entirely. Kids these days…"

Robert Laking is an artist, writer and curator based in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. His art practice is mostly text-based, but he has also amassed a large collection of found objects which he exhibits from time to time. One day this collection will be shown in full.

Start Date
27 August -  
End Date
11 September 2019

slow warnings

Christian Dimick / Olivia Deakin
Main Image
artwork for lightbox by Christian Dimick

This fortnight, Lightbox is pleased to present the work of Christian Dimick and the writing of Olivia Deakin and curated by Melina Payne. Both running until September 11th, Olivia writes in response to "Slow Warnings", creating a dialogue between image and text. 

Artist Christian Dimick explains:

"Using imagery inspired by the ever changing forms of the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland, as well as the Sanchi oil tanker collision that occurred in 2018 "Slow Warnings" is a product of the erratic and unstable nature of the earth currently. This instability is a product of humans ignorant use of the planet's resources and our flaws in the way we use, transport and value them. Using malleable materials such as ink and oil paint, the movement of warmer ocean currents seem to be in motion through the work. Along with this, the heat and toxicity of the industrial world (seen in the bottom right) bleeds into the purity of the sea -- eating into the surface. 

The earth reacts and responds to the ways in which we treat it. By reading the signs and warnings it gives us, we may find ways in which we can develop a positive relationship with our volatile home."

In response to "Slow Warnings", Olivia Deakin writes: 

“You like abstract art! So, you’ll like this!” I was told, and they weren’t wrong. I love it, I'm making my bias aware to you straight away.  But should this be considered abstract? I recently read that abstract art is the portrayal of things in which the visible world plays no part.  The charcoal bleeds down the canvas. Visually reminding us of the aerial perspective of our coastline. The patterns formed by water moving back and forth over sand and soil. That alone is the portrayal of something in our visible world. So, what category can Slow Warnings be placed into? Not abstract under the definition I've given you. The debate on whether I should even try to catalogue and define and place art into a nice neat box is for another very long day. This work stands for something bigger. It fits within Christian’s current inspiration of coastal erosion, continuing on from its initial inspiration of the forever changing Jakobshavn glacier. Simple imagery which embodies larger issues at hand. There is a social phenomenon known as having your head in the sand which we see every day in the discussions and warnings about climate change. People become overwhelmed by what they see, read, hear, and react by rejecting and ignoring the warnings. We must provide an aesthetically pleasing message that can slowly coax their head out and re-inspire them to make an impact.  These slow warnings act as alarm bells for oncoming environmental issues. In an attempt to place Slow Warnings in that nice neat box I mentioned, I think I need to wrap it with a hemp string bow. Placing it within the long and active history of environmental art, or ecological art. Art that highlights our relationship with nature and also highlights the current state of our natural environment. Art that educates, that is socially and politically active, art the challenges big corporations and governments, art that seeks change. Artists such as Betty Beaumont, Agnes Denes, Chris Jordan, the group Ephemeral Coast, and even our own Joyce Campbell. This is just a small handful of artists like Christian Dimick who seek to discuss and educate viewers about the environmental concerns of today. I would say this nice neat box has more at stake than the abstract box. A work like Slow Warnings challenges your understanding of the world but so beautifully pushes you towards making a change. Listen to the slow warnings that our environment gives us and listen to the artists who depict this. 

I’ve included below a short interview with Christian Dimick (Instagram: @christaiirr). To provide an insight into the work of this second-year art student who already seems to be placing himself within a long and important art historical discourse. 

Q: You are in your second year of a BFA at Massey, how are you finding this year? What is your favourite class? 

A: I am enjoying my second year so much more than the first. Having my own studio space is a big luxury and I feel really privileged to have a space to myself where I can really put my head down and get into my work. My favourite class would probably be my studio class. Where we have the freedom to take on making through any medium but are prompted on different topics.

Q: What influences your work?

A: A lot of different places, people, and histories definitely come into play when I’m making. I’m mostly focused on shoreline erosion on the coasts of Aotearoa and more specifically the Kapiti coast. Taking inspiration from places and their textures

Q: Where do you look for new influences?

A: Definitely other artists that work with layering/texture and utilize the natural world in their work. An artist who comes to mind would be Antoni Tàpies. I’m unashamedly obsessed with him at the moment.

Q: You haven't always been working in Wellington, how do other cities influence your work?

A: I was living in Sydney last year where I did the first year of my degree. I’d say my work has become more about the people and places around me rather than myself. I enjoy looking back to my older drawings and paintings because they are kind of naive but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’ll probably look back at the work I’ve done this year and think it was naive as well. It’s all part of growing! 

Q: How has your work developed since beginning your BFA?

A: I’m more focused on layering and textures now in my work. Everything is less literal and less figurative.

Q: Describe the process you used in creating this work. What materials did you use?

A: Secrets!!! 

Q: Does the work have a title?

A: The work is called ‘Slow Warnings’

Q: What does your work aim to say?

A: The ideas that the work is projecting are always changing a little bit. I feel like the overarching idea is the imminent. There is pressure all around us on the planet at the moment. And pressure always reaches a breaking point. 

Q: What's next for your artistic practice?

A: I’m not sure yet. I’m in a good place at the moment and I’m still feeling inspired by the themes of erosion and excavation that I’m looking at when I go to paint/draw. I’ve been working with field recording a lot at the moment so that may transform into a new body of work.

Q: Do you find time to make work not intended for your BFA?

A: Yeah for sure. When I am feeling stuck with a painting I always love to go back to figurative painting or drawing. Especially large scale. I can let myself go and it doesn’t seem so serious.

Olivia Deakin, born in Sydney, Australia but grew up on a farm in Nelson, is a current student at Victoria University of Wellington completing her Honours in Art History. Along with a background in Sociology, she is interested in how people view and interact with art in art spaces. She is passionate about ceramics and their treatment within the art world.

Start Date
13 August -  
End Date
27 August 2019

the beasts

Aleksandra Glumac / Amber Clausner
Main Image
image Aleksandra Glumac

This fortnight, Lightbox is pleased to present the work of Aleksandra Glumac and the writing of Amber Clausner and curated by Melina Payne. Both running until August 27th, Amber writes in response to "The Beasts", creating a dialogue between image and text. 

Artist Aleksandra Glumac explains:

""The Beasts" are a series of camera-less photographs I created with plastics I found on beaches of Wellington and around New Zealand. I created these photograms in a dark room at The Learning Connexion of Creativity and Art, where I am a student. Photograms are made by placing an object in contact with a photosensitive surface in the dark, and then exposing both to light. Where the object blocks the light, either partially or fully, its shadow is recorded on the paper. Plastic bags are beasts in the ocean, which harm marine and land environments in catastrophic ways. I created "The Beasts" series to call attention to the environmental impact of plastic bags and disposable plastic and to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis."

In response to "The Beasts", artist and writer Amber Clausner writes:



















Start Date
30 July -  
End Date
13 August 2019

shake it

Ebony Lamb
Main Image
ebony lamb: photograph - 'shake it'

Curated by Melina Payne.

I am a professional photographer and musician working in Wellington and further afield, with a large clientele of mostly portraiture clients.  I took this image of Tami Neilson at her home in Auckland as part of an impromptu shoot.  I like this photograph so much because it could be anyone, but it's completely her. It is both perfect and imperfect at the same time. I really love the movement, the colour and the general good feeling vibe, which has the effect of swinging between an old world and a contemporary one, immediate in it's feeling and pertinent to my life.

Start Date
17 July -  
End Date
30 July 2019


Marco Brambilla
Main Image
Marco Brambilla print

Curated by Melina Payne

I have been taking photos for roughly 7 months now, and have since fell in love with architecture photography. This photo in particular is of an old dock area in Milan which has recently been renovated with new (and very large) buildings. The area is now called "city life". I moved to New Zealand three years ago and only recently went back for 2 weeks to Milan on May of this year. It was interesting to see how much things had changed. I tried to capture that change in this photograph.

Start Date
2 July -  
End Date
16 July 2019

Nasturtium with gold leaf (2019)

Remè Barkema
Main Image
painting Nasturtium with gold leaf (2019) by reme barkema

Curated by Melina Payne.

I make paintings that are glimpses of little things that I notice throughout my day. Things that will sometimes linger in my mind because of an interest I can not explain. A fascination which can only be put to rest once I have made a painting. As for Nasturtiums, they are a determined little plant. They are self seeding and can grow abundantly in poor soil. Despite their hardy nature, their bright flowering faces are a charm to unkempt sidewalks and forgotten nooks and garden corners. Nasturtiums are also edible. Their leaves and flowers alike are peppery on the palate similar to that of cress. An excellent addition to radish, roast veges and fish! Walk around Wellington, Hataitai, Brooklyn, Mt Cook and you will see the open smiling faces of Nasturtium leaves growing ever fondly toward the sky.

Start Date
5 June -  
End Date
30 June 2019


Margaret Willard
Main Image
margaret willard - artwork

As a student at The Learning Connexion, I have discovered the art of eco-printing on fabric and textiles. I specialise in native NZ plants, using leaves, flowers and sometimes seeds and berries. Most of the plant material is gathered with care literally outside my back door or in the extensive grounds of The Learning Connexion campus.

This piece is the result of my explorations of printing outside the square, so to speak, and combining elements of various prints to make new compositions. On the original print are karaka, lemonwood, kamahi and kumerahou, with prints of pohutukawa and red beech leaves added.

Margaret Willard

027 363 2967



Start Date
1 October -  
End Date
31 October 2018

holding hands while the world comes tumbling down

Emily Brown, Digital Silk Print, 2018.
Main Image
Image: Emily Brown, Digital Silk Print, 2018

holding hands while the world comes tumbling down is the consideration of faded memories, effigies of family, obsession and images as a building ground for memory. It gestures towards intimacy and the body, while evading a set narrative, it looks for potential in fragmentation. The work shifts between autobiography, myth and fiction,  swirling fragments of tradition and history. My practice is predominantly concerned with engaging ideas of representation, history, creating a state of unease, where the image sits decontextualized, using printed gesture to articulate intimacies and vulnerabilities.


Start Date
3 September -  
End Date
30 September 2018

land as collector

Jess O'Brien
Main Image
jess o'brien photo

In connecting with the land, we acknowledge the sense of attachment to the earth (or whenua) we feel where we stand. 

Walking through a place brings a sense of the spirit (or wairua) of the land, and the passing of time in the location. Time and tide have changed the land. Residue from layers of the land and its history tell the stories of days gone by. 

Jess O’Brien  - Instagram

Start Date
1 August -  
End Date
31 August 2018


Dan Wilkinson
Main Image
dan wilkinson artwork

We use & throw away at will… I see bins everyday w items that could be recycled.

Why? We can recycle… but some choose the easy way of chucking out.

Not all…  it's great to be living in an age where consumerism is being questioned & awareness is growing.

I collect & hold onto what isn’t biodegradable where possible.

Here i am collecting an item which can’t be recycled to showcase & remind others to be aware of their consumer footprint.

I hope you enjoy how my creation interacts with the light of day… & night.

Dan Wilkinson