Exhibition tells tales of shipwrecked ancestors

00:18, Jan 30 2013
Rose Shepard
ANOTHER LAYER: Rose Shepard hangs one of her works from her exhibition, Telling Tales, at the designroom.

The culmination of two years' research and work with text, drawings and paint is on show at designroom on Nile St West.

Rose Shepard, a 1998 NMIT graduate, has finished a master of fine arts with Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland.

Her master's project explored her family history by building up storylines with text, drawings and paint in layers. The work was based on a myth about her ancestors, Eliza and Captain Fraser, who were shipwrecked near Fraser Island in Australia in 1835.

Shepard said historical facts could be obscured and hidden when passed down through generations, like Chinese whispers.

"I'm looking at how we use these narratives for justification for how we think about other cultures," she said.

Shepard's works were exhibited in Nelson galleries throughout her study, including the Refinery Artspace and the G-Space Gallery at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.


Telling Tales at designroom on Nile St West features wall-mounted small works, and a book made using transparent paper.

"As you turn the pages, it changes continuously. I am really pleased with the body of work that I ended up with."

Shepard said finishing her masters was a "massive relief", and she was looking forward to having more time to work on other projects.

"I can't believe I did it, quite frankly. It was a really big challenge," she said. But it was "well worth it", in terms of her development as an artist.

"It's like opening your mind up to so many new ways of thinking. The way I respect and see contemporary art has changed," she said.

"The work I enjoyed before and the work I did before was more based on aesthetics, whereas now I'm looking for something a little bit deeper, meaningful, and challenging."