Helen Mitchell: Tattoo Aotearoa New Zealand
13 October 2015 - 13 December 2015, Photography Gallery, Master Bedroom
Exhibition Opening: Monday 12 October 2015, 6-8pm.
Tattoo Aotearoa New Zealand presents a cross-cultural geographical survey of tattoo in Aotearoa New Zealand and unravels some of the ideas around
employing tattoo as a social passport, augmenting identity, marking life changing events and appropriating cultural
symbols. The exhibition geographically represents tattoo in Aotearoa New Zealand and provides a regional overview of
Tattoo Aotearoa New Zealand features studio portraits collated from a series of studio sessions from locations including; Auckland, Wellington,
Christchurch and Nelson and draws on the personal narratives recorded during the process of photographing each subject
included as an audio element to the exhibition.
Helen Mitchell’s current research practice in photography focuses on narratives about the ‘tattoo renaissance’ within
contemporary New Zealand society. Her images engage with questions around the construction of personal identity and
cultural exchange. This image exploration combines studio portraits with documentary photography and interviews with
tattooed subjects. Mitchell explores how the customized body functions to transform and reinforce a sense of identity,
individuality and to provide a record of personal experience.