Ann Shelton








Born 1967 in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Lives in Wellington, New Zealand.


Ann Shelton is recognized as one of New Zealand’s leading photographic artists. Her most recent work engages with plant narratives and histories, in particular the intersection of these histories with human knowledge systems. Shelton is interested in how the perceived power play between plants and humans can be questioned, redefined and modified through questions that urgently come into play as we move deeper into the era of the anthropocene.

Ann Shelton received her MFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She lives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, New Zealand. Her most recent museum survey, Dark Matter, curated by Zara Stanhope (Director, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ngāmotu New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand), was hosted by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2016 and toured to Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū in 2017. Shelton’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, in addition to being included in Images Recalled, Germany’s largest photographic biennale.

Shelton’s work has been extensively written about and reviewed in publications including Artforum, Hyperallergic, Journal of New Zealand, Pacific Studies, Artnet News, The Art Newspaper, the Evergreen Review. Her works are included in public and private collections throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and in the United States. She is an Honorary Research Fellow in Photography at Whiti o Rehua, School of Art Massey University. Her latest book mother lode was published in 2020 by Bad News Books, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Shelton will have her first institutional solo exhibition in the USA at The Alice Austen House Museum, New York in 2024.

Download CV
i am an old phenomenon
11.04.2022 - 12.22.2022
jane says
04.18.2019 - 05.19.2019
The Unhomely
06.29.2017 - 08.18.2017

Virtual Exhibitions:

A Lovers’ Herbal
Flora Imaginaria: The Flower in Contemporary Photography
Museum of Botany
07.16.2022 - 09.25.2022
an invitation to dance
PHOTO 2021
02.18.2021 - 03.07.2021
Primary Care
University of Otago
06.30.2018 - 08.25.2018
Paddington Town Hall Sydney
11.11.2017 - 11.18.2017
Dark Matter
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
09.26.2016 - 04.17.2017
a library to scale
Frankfurt Book Fair
10.01.2012 - 10.07.2012
July 08, 2022 Artists, Events, Press

Ann Shelton featured in The Art Paper

Ann Shelton’s photographic series, an invi-tation to dance, sees eight flowers immaculately presented—staged.

April 29, 2022 Press

Ann Shelton in Flora Photographica

Ann Shelton in ‘Flora Photographica: Masterworks of Contemporary Flower Photography’, a showcase of flower photography by the world’s leading photographers.

February 09, 2022 Press

Ann Shelton – The Winner of the Highly Commended Book

Ann Shelton’s Mother Lode

January 15, 2022 Press

Ann Shelton featured in The Homestyle Magazine

For contemporary artist Ann Shelton, ikebana is medium for messages.

December 01, 2021 Press

Ann Shelton Photobook – A Spoonful of Sugar

Ann Shelton, A Spoonful of Sugar first reprint.

Read on Photobooknz.

April 15, 2021 Press

Ann Shelton in Contemporary Hum: “Ann Shelton’s Strange Flowers Set the Stage”

Inspired by the Japanese art of flower arrangement, ikebana, Shelton has carefully shaped various flora—sticks, moss, flowers, seeds—into striking compositions that she photographed against bright monochromatic backgrounds.

March 03, 2021 Press

Ann Shelton’s ‘A Lovers’ Herbal’ reviewed in Artforum

“A Lovers’ Herbal” is Shelton’s first solo show since New Zealand legalized abortion (for up to twenty weeks’ gestation) in March 2020. This web presentation, dense with information, displays new photographs from “jane says,” a short video interview, ikebana book images, and texts that detail the links between colonialism and the suppression of herbal medical knowledge.

Read on Artforum.

February 09, 2021 Events

In Conversation: Artist Ann Shelton and Critic Claire Voon

Artist Ann Shelton and Critic Claire Voon will be in conversation about the artist’s current virtual exhibition “A Lovers’ Herbal” at Denny Dimin Gallery.

Read on Vimeo.

February 08, 2021 Outside Exhibitions

Ann Shelton in PHOTO 2021

Ann Shelton’s new work ‘an invitation to dance’ was commissioned by Photo Australia and the Metro Tunnel Creative Program for PHOTO 2021.

Read on PHOTO 2021.

December 12, 2019 Press

Ann Shelton in Art Collector

A new exhibition by one of New Zealand’s most lauded lens-based practitioners Ann Shelton explores female experiences of representation, control, fertility and trauma.

November 05, 2019 Artists, Press

Ann Shelton Interviewed in Evergreen Review

Photography is a bit of a bitch. It has been a willing accomplice in this whole imperialist project.

Read on Evergreen.

May 17, 2019 Artists, Press

Ann Shelton in artnet news

Ann Shelton’s brightly colored photographs of exquisite floral arrangements, on view now at New York’s Denny Dimin Gallery, aren’t just beautiful—they also carry a hidden meaning.

Read on artnet news.

May 17, 2019 Artists, Press

Ann Shelton in The Art Newspaper

Denny Dimin Gallery has launched its Tribeca space with a show of fertility-focused photographs by the New Zealand artist Ann Shelton, jane says.

May 13, 2019 Artists, Press

Ann Shelton in Collector Daily

Shelton’s thoughtful brand of feminist flower arranging throws the delicate daintiness of the practice out the window. As much as it might seem unlikely, these are intellectual, in fact subtly angry, activist photographs that encourage women to take back the knowledge that is rightfully theirs.

April 15, 2019 Artists, Press

Ann Shelton in Galerie Magazine

Here are Galerie’s picks of the must-see art and design events in New York this week, from the unveiling of Alicja Kwade’s rooftop installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Brooklyn Museum’s annual gala.

April 12, 2017 Press

Ann Shelton Reviewed in Hyperallergic

The resulting prints are currently on view at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki as part of Shelton’s retrospective, Dark Matter. Curated by Zara Stanhope, the exhibition centers on series that explore themes from trauma to female authorship through photos that often conflate fact and fiction.

March 03, 2017 Press

Ann Shelton In Conversation with Casey Carsel and Laura Thomson

Through a wide range of photographic investigations, Wellington-based artist Ann Shelton has, over her 20-year career, explored the construction of narratives that surround social, political and historical contexts.

Read on Ocula.

Ann Shelton
In Conversation with Critic Claire Voon
February 11, 2021
Ann Shelton
Pull Focus with Emil McAvoy from Art Collector Magazine
September 30, 2020
Ann Shelton
The physical garden
Live performance
April 18, 2019


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