Untitled (Wellington Botanic Garden)

Paul, Joanna
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Prolific New Zealand visual artist, poet and film-maker Joanna Margaret Paul’s (1945 -2003) practise encompassed painting, drawing, photography, film-making, poetry, publishing, architectural history, critical writing, and related commitments to the women's movement, human rights, environmental and building preservation, and fierce opposition to laissez-faire genetic engineering.

As a female artist who had four children, Paul’s works, described as 'domestic portraiture', were made in relative artistic isolation from the avant-garde art and film discourse in the 1970s-80s, but were rooted in an acute feminist politics that focused on concerns of shared female social spaces and everyday domestic situations.
Paul visited the Wellington Botanic Gardens often - here she frames her unique view, conveying an intimate and decisive moment described as ‘the power of the glimpse’. Her camera records seemingly unimportant images; cracks in a concrete wall, dilapidated buildings, a woman’s hands ironing, documenting everyday life through the eye of an artist.

Paul’s work has recently been the subject of a posthumous rediscovery: in 2015, she was part of the Adam Art Gallery exhibition, Fragments of a World: Artists Working in Film and Photography 1973–1987, the University of Otago showed her work with poet Cilla McQueen; and CIRCUIT Film commissioned new short films for Six Artists respond to the work of Joanna Margaret Paul.
Archival pigment print
Image-size: 178 x 265mm
Frame-size: 420 x 520mm
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