Shannon Te Ao

Shannon Te Ao

Senior lecturer, Whiti o Rehua School of Art

Shannon Te Ao is an artist, writer and curator whose current research interests include performance and video art practices. The majority of Te Ao's recent artistic output has seen him investigating and responding to material drawn from Māori paradigms, testing the implications of alternative creative, social and linguistic models in relation to contemporary video art and other performative practices. He primarily teaches into the undergraduate programme at Whiti o Rehua School of Art.

Shannon Te Ao news

Wellington-based artist Shannon Te Ao wins the Walters Prize
Shannon Te Ao wins 2016 Walters Prize

  • Expertise

    Performance art; video art; installation; local post-colonial discourse and contemporary New Zealand art practices. Interests in these fields coincide with Te Ao's recent essay contributions to a number of publications, which have discussed the potential found within Māori paradigms for broader societal revisions toward ideas of site, place and land and the relationship of these ideas to social, empathetic models.

  • Research Highlights

    Shannon Te Ao is currently involved in an ongoing collaborative project with Dunedin-based environmental and documentary filmmaker, Iain Frengley. This project focuses on the development of new video artworks that document site-specific performative responses to historical and geographical landmarks. Recent outcomes of the project have responded to a range of sites and events includingplaces of pre-colonial significance, historic gaols and artists’ homes such as the former residence of Colin McCahon.

    Follow the Party of the Whale (Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin) (2013)
    A commissioned video installation presented as part of Dunedin’s Matariki Festival celebrations. Presenting a number of responses to the historical material uncovered during research relating to a period during the late 1800s where followers of Parihaka movement leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi were held in gaols located around Dunedin. During their incarceration these prisoners were put to labour, contributing thousands of man-hours toward the construction of significant areas of local infrastructure, much of which still serves the city today.

    I made my own teeth (Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland) (2013)
    A solo exhibition presenting a body of new poetic, text-based prints alongside Untitled (McCahon House Studies), a video work documenting a site-specific performance captured at French Bay House, the former residence of Colin McCahon and his family in Titirangi, West Auckland. In response to the physical constraints of the living quarters determined by the house alongside its present day function as ‘living memorial’ the works within the exhibition set out to ask questions relating to the complexities of work/life balance as they might pertain to artistic practice.

    Te Hiko Hou (The New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington and Auckland) (2012)
    In collaboration with Iain Frengley presented Untitled (after Rakaihautu) a video work documenting a site-specific performance captured at Whakatu, Nelson the location of first landfall by Māori on the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. This work received a merit at the 2012 National Contemporary Art Awards curated by Caterina Riva held at the Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga Waikato.

  • Qualifications

    BFA(Hons) (University of Auckland)
    Grad Dip Teaching (University of Auckland)