Author Archives: marionwassenaar

Impact 10 Print Conference


Santander, Spain,  September 1st to 9th, 2018

It was certainly a wonderful encounter with a beautiful city, a large contingent of passionate print enthusiasts and a host of exciting venues, events, galleries, beaches and Cantabrian sunshine! Thanks to the wonderful organisers at SM Pro Art Circle.

I felt privileged to exhibit my burnt, compacted book, ‘Dreamwork’, at MUPAC, The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology and I presented a paper on the projects undertaken in the Print Lab. I also submitted a print for the Mini Print Biennial at Centro de Arte Faro Cabo Mayor, the local lighthouse.


Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 2018

9 July – 19 August, 2018

I was thrilled to be announced winner of this year’s Estuary Art & Ecology Prize organised by Malcolm Smith Gallery, UXBRIDGE Arts & Culture in Howick, Auckland.

My work Unplugged responded to the Tāmaki Estuary, to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway and encourage action against its pollution.

Artist statement:

The catalyst for this artwork is a book purchased in a charity shop, ‘Auckland Unplugged, Coping with Critical Infrastructure Failure’.* The book reports on the electricity blackout that disrupted Auckland’s central business district for five weeks over the summer of 1998 revealing a vulnerable city infrastructure requiring detailed risk evaluation in order to maintain efficiency. This crisis highlights our dependence not only on power supply but also town water supply and waste management and exacerbates a future of unsustainable uncertainty. These networks are interconnected with population growth and consumption placing huge demands on this post-industrial oasis. In attempting to create an artwork that conveys the adverse human impact on the environment, while acknowledging the waterways of the Tāmaki estuary and indeed the many contaminated waterways of Aotearoa, New Zealand, the book ‘Auckland Unplugged..’ is ironically reduced to pure carbon to be used as a filtering agent to hypothetically purify (or unblock) our polluted waters.

The artwork comprises the carbon remains of the book stored in a reagent bottle with the book title etched on the glass and photographic evidence of estuary water before and after filtration.

* Newlove, Lindy. Eric Stern, Lina Svedin. Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, 2003

The judge, Paul Brobbel had this to say of my work:

“A work that stands askew from the other works in the exhibition. Unplugged is, on first consideration, a challenging artwork – intelligent with possibly an element of humour to some. But tilting at the political, the bureaucratic and the pathetic, this work adds a unique element of anger and aggression to the exhibition. Unplugged is still, like all the works here, optimistic, but the artist took a much more visceral ride to get there.”

Above is the original book and the carbon remains following slow pyrolysis. The ‘book’ was then crushed and used in a home made water filter.

Unplugged install

Unplugged, 2018

Unplugged opening

Exhibition opening 7th July, 2018

The Print Laboratory welcomes: The News Network


It was fantastic to be a part of The News Network group exhibition at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru. The exhibition included custom prints produced in the Print Laboratory by Kipp, Maisie and BaT & Emboss as a fundraiser for the Forrester gallery. The prints are a response to the ornamental plaster ceiling rose in the main gallery.

Artists in the exhibition: Alison Alder, Marian Crawford, BaT & Emboss, Neil Emmerson, Richard Harding, Steve Lovett, Trent Walter and Marion Wassenaar.


mise en place

Mise en Place invite

mise en place is a joint exhibition with Kiri Mitchell that looks at the roles of women in the kitchen.

The Kitchen Drawer series, 2017
This work pays tribute to my mother for her dedication to provide daily meals on the table. With limited electric gadgets available during that time, this work acknowledges the labour of love involved in food preparation. I hope that, in her old age, she gets the quality of care she deserves. The Kitchen Drawer series is a response to concerns for the care of our aging population in light of decreasing funding and standards of food quality in the public health system.


Art & Future exhibition

Art and Future: Energy, Climate, Cultures. An exhibition coinciding with the Art & Future symposium. Dunedin School of Art gallery, 10 – 21 October 2016

On opening night 13 October, 2016, I used a GoPro camera mounted above the posters alongside the projector to record the disappearance of the coal sack prints from the stack. The video captured some great footage so now for the post production! I’m hoping to use the edited video in an exhibition in the near future.

Melbourne residency

Embarking on a ten day residency in Melbourne was a fast and furious campaign to produce a series of screenprints in the RMIT print studio in a collaboration with Neil Emmerson. I was invited to participate in the Print Imaging Practice Residency as a member of The News Network during July 2016. This is a trans-Tasman nine member collaborative visual arts community, established in response to the spectre of Global Media. The RMIT Lightscape exhibition, BROADCAST, taking place during the residency proclaims a mixture of political and personal positions through images from the news and current affairs.

I was fortunate to have Neil’s local knowledge to guide me through the busy city. Trams moved us around with ease provided you delay morning departure until after 9am. The Real Australians Say Welcome street poster campaign by artist Peter Drew certainly drew my attention to immigration and the rich cultural diversity Melbourne has to offer. My brief sojourn did allow me to savor the delights of the Victoria Markets, see firsthand the Lightscape installation in the outdoor lightboxes and roam the dynamic array of galleries and shops in Fitzroy. All too soon my inspiring stay was over, but I will be back there again in the near future I hope.  Oh, and the prints from the residency are a work in progress with results to follow soon!

Aussie Peter Drew

Real Australians Say Welcome by Peter Drew

Art + Design exhibition

Weapons Culture

Weapons culture web

Weapons culture 2015, screenprint on Tiepolo and charcoal in etched glass reagent bottle

This work consists of two parts. The book, ‘The Weapons Culture’ by physicist Ralph E Lapp published in 1968, utilised in this work traces the rise of weapons culture and its domination on American society. I employ the burnt book in my art practice in a transformation that exposes the materiality of the physical, organic form to engage in altered perceptions of the frame in which the book was set. The process of transformation involves pyrolysis which reduces the book to an almost pure carbon state which is ground as charcoal and stored in the reagent bottle. A portion of charcoal pigment from the book is crushed into a paste based ink to screenprint a summary of expenditure per capita that reveals the contrast between military expenditure and arts funding. This information was sourced via the internet from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the American National Endowment for the Arts and is cited at the base of the print.

The work was submitted as part of a group show at the H D Skinner Annex, Otago Museum to support the Art + Design Symposium held at the Dunedin School of Art 16-17 October 2015

Showing alongside this work was a print collaboration, UGANDA, produced by Neil Emmerson and me.