Marie Shannon - Love Notes


Media Release: June, 2009. 

Marie Shannon: Love Notes (2005) at the Courtenay Place Light Boxes

19 June 2009 – 19 December 2009

Wellington’s Courtenay Place doubtless witnesses many impassioned declarations of love and affection and soon the well-known party strip will see a public display of affection on an even larger graphic scale. The Courtenay Place Light Boxes, in Courtenay Place Park near Taranaki Street, will exhibit a series of photographs of private love notes by Auckland contemporary photographer Marie Shannon.

The sixteen notes are from Shannon’s Love Notes (2005) series and the works initiate a disarmingly intimate encounter amidst the bustle of a busy commercial urban thoroughfare. The images will transform a commercial site into a zone for more personal exchanges, of thought and affection.

“Amid the visual and aural clamour of Courtenay Place, the spare black and white fragments of Love Notes strike a disarmingly intimate and tender tone,” says curator Heather Galbraith, Senior Curator / Manager Curatorial Programmes at City Gallery Wellington, “Drawn from a collection of messages exchanged between the artist, her partner and their child, the notes can be understood within a biographical context, but they also have a more universal appeal. They provide an insight into how we use language to express affection and reflect upon the strength of the bond of love.”

Born in Nelson in 1960, Marie Shannon is a renowned photographer who has exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally. In 1996, she represented New Zealand at the Asia Pacific Triennale, Queensland Art Gallery and also exhibited that year at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney. In 1998 Shannon showed at the Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. In 2000 she was included in the exhibition ACProjects, New York, Five Shows, Five Curators. Her work was featured in the 2005 publication Contemporary New Zealand Photographers. Shannon graduated from University of Auckland in 1983 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Auckland.

The illuminated Courtenay Place Light Boxes were designed as an integral part of Wellington City Council’s Courtney Place Park project and were unveiled in May 2007. This exhibition has been generated by City Gallery Wellington during the closure of its building for development and seismic strengthening and is supported by Wellington city Council’s Public Art fund. City Gallery Wellington will reopen 27 September 2009 with Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years.

Marie Shannon: Love Notes (2005) 

19 June 2009 – 19 December 2009

Courtenay Place Park, cnr Taranaki St and Courtenay Place

For further details please contact:

Rachel Healy, City Gallery Wellington, ph: 027 6874226,,

The Courtenay Place Light Boxes are managed by the Council’s Public Art Panel. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from Wellington City Council.