Fiona Pardington D.F.A. (born 1961 in Devonport, New Zealand) is a New Zealand artist, her principal medium being photography. She descends from three Māori iwi, (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Ngāti Kahungunu), and the Scottish Clan Cameron of Erracht.
Early life and education
Born Fiona Dorothy Cameron, Fiona Pardington was brought up on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast, where she attended Orewa College. Knowing that she wanted to become a photographer from the age of six, Pardington studied photography at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984.
In 2003, Pardington graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a Master of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) and in 2013 graduated with a Doctor of Fine Arts in Photography. She has throughout her career held the position of lecturer, tutor, assessor and moderator on photography, design and fine arts programmes at universities and polytechnics throughout New Zealand.
Pardington's brother Neil Pardington (11 months her junior) is also a well-known photographer and book designer.
Career, themes and style
Early in her career, Pardington worked from a feminist viewpoint to explore themes of love and sex, the representation and perception of the body, and the construction of gender and identity. She specialised in 'pure' or analog photography darkroom techniques, most notably hand printing and toning.
In the 1980s, borrowing from early, highly romanticized pictorialist photography, Pardington challenged the social construction of the eternal feminine by making theatrical photographs of the female nude.
In 1990 Pardington won the prestigious Moet et Chandon New Zealand Art Foundation Fellowship. She won the Visa Gold Art Award in 1991 for Soft Target, a work framed with beaten, studded copper and gold-painted wood, that is encrusted with contradictory religious images and texts.
Pardington was the recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago in both 1996 and 1997. In 1997 Pardington won the Visa Gold Art Award for a second time with Taniwha, 1996, a close up of a bar of soap, a colonial relic with an appropriated Māori name.
In 2001 Pardington was the Auckland Unitec Institute of Technology Artist in Residence and began a body of work examining extant collections of cultural objects or taonga (treasures) in New Zealand's museums.
In 2005 the New Zealand Government gifted the Quai Branly Suite of Nine Hei tiki to the people of France. Pardington is one of two Māori artists represented by the Musee du Quai Branly.
In 2006 Pardington was the Ngāi Tahu Artist in Residence at the Otago Polytechnic, during which time she studied and photographed nests from the Otago Museum collection.
In 2010 Pardington completed a Laureate Artistic Creations Project with the Musée du Quai Branly, photographing more than fifty casts of Māori, Pacific and European heads, including casts of her Ngāi Tahu ancestors, held in the Musée Flaubert et d’Histoire de la Medecine in Rouen, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris and in the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The casts made in the Pacific region during Dumont d’Urville’s last exploratory voyage of 1837-40 by the phrenologist Pierre-Marie Alexandre Dumoutier (1791-1871) included three tattooed warriors: Tangatahara and Piuraki (who are Ngai Tahu) and Matua Tawai (from Kororareka). Originally exhibited in vitrines outside the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, Ahua: A beautiful hesitation, was selected to be exhibited at the 17th Biennale of Sydney in May 2010, and was allocated a dedicated gallery space in the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The series is illustrated in The Pressure of Sunlight Falling, published by Otago University Press and was exhibited at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth and Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2011.
Pardington's work Ake Ake Huia, holds the auction record for a single New Zealand photograph having sold in 2010 for NZ$30,385. Pardington's major work, the Quai Branly Suite of Nine Hei Tiki, holds the auction record for a New Zealand photographic work having sold in 2010 for NZ$64,278. This was one of only two complete sets made by the artist with the other set having been gifted to the people of France by the New Zealand government.
Pardington's still-life imagery made in 2012 and 2013 have a painterly quality that visually reference seventeenth century painting traditions as well as the 16th century vanitas traditions. The images are not only memento mori in the provision of poetic signs of time passing and things dying - from dandelion clocks to gecko skins - but of cultures meeting across seas.
In 2013 Pardington completed a three-month artist's residency at the Colin McCahon House in Titirangi, Auckland.
A major survey of Pardington's work, Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation, featuring more than 100 photographs, was held at City Gallery Wellington in August - November 2015. The exhibition travelled to Auckland Art Gallery in 2016.
In February 2016 it was announced that Pardington had been selected by curator Fumio Nanjo for the first Honolulu Biennale, to be held in 2017.
Fellowships, residencies and awards
- 2016 Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
- 2013 Colin McCahon House Artists’ Residency
- 2011 Arts Foundation Laureate Award recipient
- 2010 Laureate Artistic Creations Project with the Musee du Quai Branly, France
- 2006 Ngāi Tahu residency at Otago Polytechnic
- 2001 Auckland Unitec Artist in Residence
- 1997 Visa Gold Art Award
- 1996 Frances Hodgkins Fellow
- 1991 Moet & Chandon Fellow, France
- 1991 Visa Gold Art Award
- "French PM to honour Jackson and Pardington". New Zealand Herald. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Artists' Residency McCahon Trust, West Auckland". Mccahonhouse.org.nz. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- "Q&A with artist Fiona Pardington - Viva Magazine - NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- "New Zealand Arts Awards | The Big Idea | Te Aria Nui". The Big Idea. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- "A New Museological Series From Fiona Pardington – EyeContact". Eyecontactsite.com. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- 2015-2016 Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation, City Gallery Wellington, Auckland Art Gallery, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
- 2011 The Pressure of Sunlight Falling, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery
- 2001 One Night of Love, Waikato Museum of Art and History
- 2013 Among the Machines: Australian and New Zealand Artists, Dunedin Public Art Gallery
- 2012 Contact, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany
- 2012 Arsenale, Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Ukraine
- 2011 Tender is the night, City Gallery Wellington
- 2010 17th Biennale of Sydney
- 2010 Unnerved: The New Zealand Project, Queensland Art Gallery and National Gallery of Victoria
- 2009 Photographer Unknown, Monash University Museum of Art
- 2009 Brought to Light, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
- 2007 Photoquai, Musée du Quai Branly
- 2006 Mo Tatou: The Ngai Tahu Whanui exhibition, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
- 2003 Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu: Twelve contemporary Ngāi Tahu artists, Christchurch Art Gallery
- 1996 Cultural Safety, City Gallery Wellington and Frankfurter Kunstverein
- 1993 Alter / Image, City Gallery Wellington
- "Fiona Pardington The Pressure of Sunlight Falling Otago University Press, New Zealand". Otago.ac.nz. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- "The Pressure of Sunlight Falling". Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Among the Machines". Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Tender is the night". City Gallery Wellington. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "17th Biennale of Sydney". Biennale of Sydney. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Unnerved: The New Zealand Project". NGV Melbourne. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Photographer Unknown". MUMA. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Brought to Light". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Photoquai". Musee de quai Branly.
- "Mō Tātou - The Ngāi Tahu Whānui Exhibition". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu: Twelve contemporary Ngāi Tahu artists". Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Cultural Safety". City Gallery Wellington. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Alter/Image". City Gallery Wellington. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Stuart McKenzie, Rising to the Blow, Epernay, France : Moet et Chandon, 1992. ISBN 0473016494
- Kyla Macfarlane, One Night of Lovee, Hamilton: Waikato Museum of Art & History, 2001. ISBN 0908750188
- Gina Irish, The Heart Derelict, Dunedin: Otago Polytechnic, 2006. ISBN 9780473137458
- Fiona Pardington, Journey of the Sensualist, Whanganui: McNamara Gallery, 2008. ISBN 0958272425
- Roger Boyce, Eros & Agape, Wellington: Suite Gallery, 2010.
- Andrew Paul Wood, Blood & Roses, Christchurch: Jonathan Smart Gallery, 2011. ISBN 9780986458200
- Andrew Paul Wood, Mushrooms : the champignons Barla, Christchurch: A.P. Wood Publishing, 2011. ISBN 9780473195038
- Kriselle Baker and Elizabeth Rankin, Fiona Pardington : the pressure of sunlight falling, Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2011. ISBN 9781877578090
- Aaron Lister et al, Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2015. ISBN 9781776560547
- John Hurrell, Colourful Pardington, EyeContact, 13 June 2016
- John Hurrell, Cursive Pardington, EyeContact, 23 August 2015
- John Hurrell, Theatrical Pardington Vanitas Works, EyeContact, 1 December 2013
- Andrew Paul Wood, Auburn/Pardington Collaboration, EyeContact, 28 December 2012
- John Hurrell, Ambiguous Portraits, EyeContact, 17 October 2012
- John Hurrell, Pardington Vanitas Works, EyeContact, 16 October 2012
- John Hurrell, A New Museological Series From Fiona Pardington, EyeContact, 5 October 2011
- John Hurrell, Phrenology in the Pacific, EyeContact, 11 June 2010
- Gina Irish, Collaborating with Spirit SCAPE: from a different angle, Art New Zealand, no 115, Winter 2005
- Gina Irish, Exhibitions, Christchurch, Art New Zealand, no 108, Spring 2003
- Musée du Quai Branly
- National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
- National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, USA
- Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
- Auckland Art GalleryToi o Tamaki
- Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
- Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
- Dunedin Public Art Gallery
- University of Auckland Art Collection, Auckland, New Zealand
- Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection, Wellington, New Zealand
- Chartwell Collection, Auckland, New Zealand
- "Fiona Pardington". QAGOMA. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". NGV Melbourne. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". Auckland Art Gallery. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Fiona Pardington". Chartwell Collection. Retrieved 12 July 2015.