Ilam Campus Gallery

Past exhibitions

Ciaran Bulb image.jpg


Min-Young Her, Orissa Keane, Hannah Phillips, Alicia Skeaff | ILAM FABLES

Ilam Fables was a collaborative exhibition centred around a set of original fables, illustrated through crafted objects and the treatment of the gallery itself as a tool and a material. As is characteristic of fables, Ilam Fables assesses the values of the actions and attitudes that surround us: from within the art school, and local art networks. At the same time, the show celebrates the whimsical and tactile potency of a trail of clues. These clues are offered to viewers in the form of ceramics, textiles, leadlights, sound and spatial interventions. Throughout Ilam Fables Keane, Phillips, Her and Skeaff foreground the show with generosity and the joy of making.

Min-Young Her, Orissa Keane, Hannah Phillips, and Alicia Skeaff are all fourth-year sculpture students studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts.


Hīnātore was envisioned as an immersive gallery experience, grounded in the emotive resonance of light, and the physical/psychological experience of materiality. The exhibition is a study of light as both the subject, and the instrument of communicating emotion. Different approaches within the group show look to conjure spectrums of emotive experience, from awe and apprehension, to familiarity and reassurance. The evocative qualities of light transform the immediate space of the SoFA Gallery, by turn revealing and obscuring, reflecting and absorbing. In the darkened room, the illuminated pieces become points by which to navigate or orientate oneself. This line of enquiry stemmed from the practice of the late Bill Culbert, an Ilam School of Fine Arts alumnus renowned for his engagement with intrinsic qualities of light and reclaimed materials.

Connie Dwyer, Christian Lamont, and Jamie TeHeuheu are all fourth-year students studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Dwyer and TeHeuheu are majoring in Painting and Lamont in Film.

Sophie Ballantyne, Connie Dwyer, Min-Young Her | Why are you here today?

For many, physical areas of therapy can provide a safe space for one to freely express one's thoughts and at the same time, they can be clinical and alienating for people, becoming less of an open environment and one of isolation. These spaces exist as strange hubs between the personal and impersonal states, enabling visitors to leave unaffected or to pursue the option of treatment.

In therapy, these discomforts become even more apparent due to factors including physical surroundings, the stranger that is your therapist, and the uncertainty of whether this stranger is someone to commit to. Once unfamiliar offices become sacred safe spaces, an environment reflective of personal progression, openness and empathy. By recording these transitional spaces, Why Are You Here Today? explores the deliberate fashioning of these spaces and records the overlooked details missed in transition. Why Are You Here Today? looks to illuminate these private spaces and destigmatize the process of therapy through the works, providing the audience with an insight not otherwise available. 

Sophie Ballantyne, Connie Dwyer and Min-Young Her are fourth year students all studying towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts.  Ballantyne and Dwyer are majoring in Painting and Her in Sculpture.

Conor Clarke | Ground Water Mirror

Ground Water Mirror is a body of work conceived of in Berlin, and expanded on during a residency in Whanganui between 2017 and 2018. The exhibition features a series of photographs shot on medium format analogue film that contribute to a wider project involving video and sound. 

Clarke is interested in attitudes towards nature that evolved during Romanticism and continue to dominate western ideology. She attempts to blur the false divide between nature and ourselves, depicting some of nature's most valued typologies like waterfalls and mountain peaks in often overlooked urban environments. Traditionally romanticised destinations become abstractions of the real world, where physical fact and inherited cultural associations combine to reflect that which we seek out, rather than that which is really there.

Conor Clarke grew up in rural South Auckland and has a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. She has exhibited regularly throughout Aotearoa, using the medium of photography to explore ecology, colonialism, land use and landscape representation. Based in Berlin since 2009, Clarke has recently relocated to Otautahi, Christchurch to begin as Lecturer in Photography at Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury.

Australia & New Zealand Photobook Award 2018

The photo book has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years. Combined with on-demand publishing it now offers photographers unprecedented and unmediated access to audiences for their work. From a bespoke and limited-edition artist book to a large print run showcasing the entire body of work of an artist, the photo book has shifted from background to foreground for the attention of art fairs, libraries and collectors.

The Australia & New Zealand Photobook Award celebrates excellence, originality, 'fitness for purpose' in photo book creation and is proudly sponsored by Momento Pro. Since 2011, $113,500 in prizes have been distributed to 50 winners and 130 finalists to help them publish and progress their career. Their work has also been showcased throughout the region and the world via a print catalogue and this travelling exhibition.

In conjunction with the Photobook Award books, we shall also be screening the Tangent Photography Collective documentary Pictures on paper. Photo books in New Zealand. This short documentary charts some of the key moments in the history of the photo book in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Interviews with early proponents of the form such as photographer/publisher Haru Sameshima and photographer David Cook give context. Harvey Benge talks about his long-term obsession with the photo book format, his own printed works and his extensive collection.

Tangent Photography Collective was founded in 2012 by lens-based artists Becky Nunes, Anita Tòtha and Parisa Taghizadeh as a platform for the insertion of photo-filmic practice into the local contemporary art discourse. Their intention was to advance the debate around visual culture in Aotearoa via rigorous discussion in a supportive environment. 

Ciaran Begley | Dirty Entanglement

Dirty Entanglement is the product of a series of exhibitions investigating light and gravity in relation to the gallery experience. The work combines three large interactive plywood works with one stage light projecting an image of itself. These works utilise the properties of their materials beyond their expected physical capacities to stimulate investigation. These enquiries draw viewers into their own interactions with the work and in turn become part of this new appreciation of the reality we inhabit.

Ciaran Begley graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts in 2000 and completed his MFA at Sydney University in 2016. Begley’s work investigates multiple material processes through the lens of an amateur physicist, origami designer and sculptor. Begley has exhibited in Wellington, Dunedin, London and Sydney, and has recently moved to Melbourne. Begley won the Howard Tribe Sculpture award in Sydney 2017.

Ella Sutherland | carte blanche

Carte Blanche continues Ella Sutherland’s interrogation of visual languages and the politics of visibility. Beginning development while on residency in Paris for the first twelve weeks of the gilets jaunes anti-government protests, Sutherland looks to the yellow vest itself as a highly effective signalling device to carry the language of a movement. Developed from an ongoing trajectory of questioning, Carte Blanche brings together voices of order and control in the urban environment, of power in typographic systems, and of dissent, revolution, ruptures and identity. The exhibition plays between the detritus and improvisations of this moment in France’s history, socio-political upheaval and revolution, and some of the most culturally prestigious parts of Parisian identity.

Ella Sutherland is a Sydney-based artist who holds an MFA from the University of Canterbury (2012). Her work investigates complex systems of reading and navigation within both the built environment and print media. In 2018, Sutherland was invited to participate in the 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. Recent exhibitions include Margins & Satellites, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2018; Slow Seeing and Attention to Make, The Dowse, Wellington, 2016; Boring month start to finish, the whole month, North Projects, Christchurch, 2015. Sutherland was the 2018 Summer Resident at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, and was selected for the 2018 Evolving Book program at the Banff Centre, Canada. In 2017, she was a finalist in the John Fries Award and the Redlands Art Prize, and in 2016 received a Merit Award at the National Contemporary Art Awards.

Tyne Gordon | double dribble

Double Dribble is an exhibition of new objects and paintings by 2018 Olivia Spencer Bower awardee Tyne Gordon. This body of work features water vessels, zones, fissures, and mounds. In Double Dribble, fictional spaces and forms are in a constant flux, dissolving and emerging, decomposing and regenerating.

Tyne Gordon graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts with a BFA (Hons) degree in painting in 2015. Recent exhibitions include Precarious Nature, CoCA Toi Moroki, Christchurch; ŒWater Park, Next Gallery, Christchurch; and ŒCroon, 30 Upstairs, Wellington.




Ilam 2018

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary edition of SELECT, Ilam School of Fine Arts has reimagined its annual public event in new and engaging ways. Featuring works drawn exclusively from our 3rd, 4th, HONs and MFA studio-artists,  ILAM 2018 aspires to an astutely curated snapshot of contemporary creative developments within the school. This year’s SELECT judge, Blair Jackson, Director of Christchurch Art Gallery and Ilam School of Fine Arts alumnus, will review the exhibition in its final form and from it designate three artist-recipients whose work will permanently enter the University of Canterbury Art Collection. 

Debuting for the first time, at this year’s ILAM 2018, will be a comprehensive annual publication providing both written and visual representation of all participating student-artists. Finally, to reflect a greater emphasis and belief in this production, we will be open for an extended period, moving from a single open-day to six-day exhibit window-of-opportunity.


Katrina Beekhuis | Pensieri

Beekhuis’s practice is inter-disciplinary working across media, softening boundaries between sculpture, painting, printmaking and design. This exhibition continues her investigation into the revealing and concealing nature of perception. The title, Pensieri, is borrowed from 18th century sculptor Joseph Nollekens who referred to the small figures he moulded from clay as Pensieri, or ‘thoughts’. Historically viewed as intermediary to larger scale works, Noellekens saw these figures as things in their own right, existing in this pensive state, as an accumulation of moments or the physical form of a conceived thought. Like the initial stages of a thought, which tend to be fragile and amorphous, each work, although modelled off objects from daily life, seeks to disrupt usual processes of perception. In this inflection, objects gather agency and lead to one of encounter rather than automatic recognition.

Katrina Beekhuis was born in 1984 in Christchurch, New Zealand. She received a BFA from Ilam SoFA (2005) and an MFA from Elam SoFA (2015). In 2015, she was awarded the Iris Fisher Scholarship by Te Tuhi Centre for The Arts and in 2017, was the recipient of the International artist’s residency at Gasworks in Vauxhall, London. Recent exhibitions include Mirror Grain, Objectspace, Auckland (2018); Things i know, Open studios Gasworks, London (2017); Potters pink, Te Tuhi Centre For The Arts, Auckland (2016); grammars, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2016); Soft Architecture, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Howick (2016); Movement toward and away, Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland (2015). She lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.

Julia Holderness | Florence and Florence

Working with a range of archival materials from the Macmillan Brown Library and Heritage Collections, Julia Holderness explores her own textile making alongside that of artist and teacher Florence Akins (1906-2012). Akins’ documents relate to her teaching of textiles at the Canterbury College School of Art, and include lecture notes and other instructional resources such as colour diagrams. Holderness reworks them and presents their possible entanglement with the international Bauhaus movement.

Connections are also made with Florence Weir (1899-1979), currently the only known New Zealander to have studied at the Bauhaus. In 1936 Weir designed the costumes and sets for a local Christchurch production, and these were said to have been inspired by her time at the Bauhaus. The production was never staged publicly, and in the absence of any surviving documentation, Holderness imagines these designs in an appliqué series. This exhibition is part of a Visual Arts PhD in practice-led research at Auckland University of Technology, in which Holderness develops practices of fabrication, approximation and invention to interrogate archives and their construction of art-historical narratives.


The Winter Garden: Priscilla Howe, Liam Krijgsman, Charlotte Peters, Alice Bray
The Winter Garden is a multi-media re-presentation of a building that sat at the site of 195-199 Armagh Street and the activities that took place inside over its lifespan. The Winter Garden functioned as a social venue from 1927 through until 1984, often catering to debutante balls, fashion shows, formal dinners and other celebrations. In 1984 the ownership of the building changed hands, and after some time in limbo a part of the building was repurposed as a music venue, the other half demolished, becoming the site of the Trade Union Centre. In the undertaking of this project, the work will address the reproduction of a space we have limited memory or understanding of, creating an anachronistic reimagining of this social and cultural bastion.

Fuzzy Match: Giselle Fortune, Hannah Phillips
Fuzzy Match is an experiment in collaboration in which Hannah and Giselle negotiate commonalities between their individual art practices while observing processes inherent in their own collaboration. They attempt to lay bare their experience and to acknowledge its nuances: the uncertainties, the fuzzy translation of ideas between different forms and between two people, the gaps, the misunderstandings and the successes.

Best Located: Jamie Teheuheu, Connie Dwyer, Theresa Gimblett, Brandon Clark, Richard Elderton, Min-Young Her, Christian Lamont, Tessa McPhee, Ollie Thompson, Natasha Wilson
Best Located is a satellite exhibition of the 2018 Student Series prompting changes in the perception of Fine Arts in the University of Canterbury through appropriation of communication vessels and advertising devices.

NCEA 2018 Top Art Exhibition

Top Art is an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year. Five streams are covered: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Top Art provides an opportunity for secondary students and teachers to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3. It also allows members of the public to see the high quality art being created in schools.

More info here:

Sam Clague | Taste Nature

Clague’s current practice is a method in coming to terms with the end of capitalism.  He approaches this ultimate metamorphosis through the core notion of failure.  Mutated, blanched, stripped, buried, amalgamated materials are aerated and turned like organic fertiliser to generate new forms representing a failed system.

‘I always wanted my works—whatever happened in the studio− to look more like what was going on outside the window.’ — Robert Rauschenberg

Sam Clague is an artist currently practicing in Dunedin.  Clague graduated with a BFA (First Class Honours) from Ilam School of Fine Arts in 2015, and has exhibited work at the UNSW Gallery (Sydney) and the Adam Art Gallery (Wellington).

Paul Johns | Look at the crowd in swimming

The frequent disconnect between curatorial intention and viewer response is too often the classic 'elephant in the room' when contemporary art exhibitions are staged. Given the unspoken rules of the art world this gap between intention and response is seldom owned up to. Bewilderment is audibly masked by strategies of knowingness, peppered by buzz-words such as 'immersive', but the silent question prowls unanswered: 'What is this all about?'

In Johns' case there are some useful keys. First, the scope of his work over forty years not just a succession of styles but an engagement with social mores. Second, his perhaps central medium of photography, that diaristic, serial and more tangible connection with life as it's lived. Third, photography's intimate relation with memory that curiously unstable hindsight attempting to confer shape on shifting identities. Earlier in Johns' career his shaping seemed almost exclusively personal, but by now the accumulation of this plumbing the depths of his experience is more historical in scope, more generally applicable, a wider commentary on his life and our times. Peter Ireland.

Holly Best | An imprecise organisation of forms

An imprecise organisation of forms is part family photo album, part formal game that takes an unreliable approach with indecisive results. Considering the practice of chasing Cartier-Bresson's photographic 'decisive moment', Holly Best courts failure with the most precious of subjects, exploring the convoluted ways we see pictures and measure their success.

Holly Best is a Christchurch-based artist and writer. Recent exhibitions include 'The Devil¹s Blindspot: Recent Strategies in New Zealand Photography' at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, 'Garden City' for SCAPE Public Art in the Christchurch Arts Centre, and 'Domestic Abstraction' at Chambers 241. She also writes for Art New Zealand.


Daegan Wells | A gathering distrust

In October of 1969, a group of concerned locals gathered together at a house in Invercargill, putting in motion a plan to fight the proposed raising of Lake Manapouri as part of the Manapouri hydropower project. The campaign launched by the Save Lake Manapouri Committees throughout New Zealand highlighted the power of protest in influencing Government policy and has come to symbolise a sea change in New Zealander’s personal engagement with environmental policy. A Gathering Distrust explores the state of tension between the Save Lake Manapouri supporters, and the National Government under Jack Marshal in the build-up to the 1972 election.

Through his archival and sculptural practice, Daegan Wells explores storytelling as a way of illuminating key political, environmental, social and cultural events from our recent history. Wells centres his research around the contested foreshore of the lake utilising video installation, and ceramic works formed from clay sourced from the shoreline of Lake Manapouri.

Ilam Masters | 2018

For a number of the exhibitors this is an opportunity to focus on and showcase a single body of work towards the culmination of their larger Masters project. In this respect the exhibition is a preview or fountainhead for other exhibits, performances and screenings which will be taking place across the campus, city and peninsula. For other members of the collective, who are in an earlier phase of their studio investigations, this show provides a platform to test ideas and works that might still be more nebulous.


Visit our archive page to see our previous exhibitions