Memories are made of this

The Rooms in the House (2016), digital video, of 15min 53sec duration, purchased in 2017 with funds from the Dunedin City Council. Photos: Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
The Rooms in the House (2016), digital video, of 15min 53sec duration, purchased in 2017 with funds from the Dunedin City Council. Photos: Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Moving-image art and digital video has become an important part of gallery collections, writes Lucy Hammonds.

As one of New Zealand's leading contemporary photographers, Marie Shannon produces works that hold an important presence in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection.

Until recently, Shannon's art practice has been exclusively represented by photography, without any record of her considerable body of work produced in forms of film and video.

However, in 2017 the gallery addressed this absence with the acquisition of The Rooms in the House, one of Shannon's most recent text-based video works.

The Rooms in the House, which is on display at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, continues Shannon's practice of making art works that examine aspects of her home surroundings. This focus brings both intimacy and politics to Shannon's work; elevating domestic spaces, objects and activities in the face of long-standing social and art-world hierarchies.

The Rooms in the House (2016) records an interview between Shannon and her now-adult son, describing his memories of the contents of his childhood home. Unsentimental, yet tender, the narratives of mother and son offer dual recollections of their family home, reflecting the different perspectives and experiences that co-exist in this kind of shared environment.

Collecting digital video and moving-image art has become increasingly important in developing collections of contemporary art worldwide. Shannon's The Rooms in the House enters a small, yet growing collection of digital works in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection, reflecting the dynamic face of contemporary art in the 21st century.

-Lucy Hammonds is a curator at Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

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