Curated by David Teh
12th Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders
Gwangju, 2018

Based on printed matter from the first four editions of the Gwangju Biennale, Notes after the Textbegins with the question: How may an archive perform its contents to elicit an ethos or atmosphere, as opposed to illustrating a collection of events?

Notes After the Text, 2018, installation view: Gwangju Biennale

The series looks to the poetics of print: the space between visual language, the alphabet and the thread which connects this material to the world.

Notes After the Text, 2018, offset print on paper: 420 x 297mm (each), custom plywood tray

As opposed to a design history, the results might be seen as an abstract index of the organisation’s evolving self-image, that parallels the curatorial discourse but doesn’t always correspond with it.

Notes After the Text
, 2018, framed digital print: 210 x 497mm

Margins & Satellites
Curated by Sophie Davis 
Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2018

Margins & Satellites continues Sutherland’s ongoing enquiry into the relationship between printed matter, typography and social histories, focussing on what Sutherland describes as “a queering of mechanical reproduction.”

Margins & Satellites, 2018, installation view: Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington

Drawing from research undertaken during her residency at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in January 2018, Sutherland has developed a new body of work that responds to serial publications produced in the 1970s–1990s held in the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) | Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa.

Margins & Satellites, 2018, installation view: Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington

Unpacking the wider design context of queer archival material, Margins & Satellites reflects on the way we understand the printed form as a mode of contemporary practice today, as well as reflecting on the continuous development of languages that are deployed and contested within LBGTQIA+ communities.

Margins & Satellites, 2018, installation view: Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington

Various Breaks at Irregular Intervals, 2018, three custom A4 folders, digital print on paper

Sutherland’s research asks what specific language has developed within this space and how this printed matter has influenced design, text and language in similar spaces today.

Margins & Satellites, 2018, opening event: Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington

Margins & Satellites also includes print-based work from Wellington-based practitioners Sean Burn, Laura Duffy, Simon Gennard, Robbie Handcock, Ana Iti, Rachel O’Neill and Aliyah Winter.

The Evolving Book: Contemporary Artist Book Practices
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, 2018

Five Readings, 2018, installation view: Banff Centre, Canada

Over the course of The Evolving Book residency, I wanted to see if, and how, the voices of the queer communities I had been researching were embedded in the form of printed matter; to think about the capacity of these artefacts to embody the cultural, technological or socio-political context surrounding their creation.

Five Readings, 2018, digitally printed pads: 215 x 297mm (each)

Coming from a background of producing books, I’m also really interested in how mechanical reproduction – a process based on the ‘standard’ – is used by queer communities. As much of this printed ephemera was created to exist for short period of time, it is intriguing to think that the survival of this material might create opportunities to recover or re-imagine overlooked narratives.

Five Readings
, 2018, silk screen on paper: 558 x 762mm (each), laser engraving on acrylic: 280 x 100mm (each)

Many of these publications were very specific about who they were for and how they were distributed – and I think it’s at this point – that the relationship to contemporary politics of publishing becomes super complex and interesting, especially in relation to how language is negotiated alongside identity.

John Fries Award
UNSW Gallery, Sydney, 2017

, 2017, installation view: UNSW Gallery, Sydney

Queue collates the typography from the spines of library books found in the “queer” section of five Sydney university libraries. The parameters for collection being that the sample be taken over one day in June 2017 and that the book title contain the word “queer”.

Queue, 2017, installation view: UNSW Gallery, Sydney

Queue cites Ariel Goldberg’s questioning of the value of “queer” as label in their book The Estrangement Principal. The work observes what is determined queer in learning and provides an illustration of the various ways in which it is deployed and interpreted in an academic space: both in terms of representation and omission.

Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize
National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 2017

Time if you are paper follows the trajectory of the annual exhibition ephemera produced by The Group, an informal art association based in Christchurch, New Zealand, between 1927 and 1977.

Time if You Are Paper
, 2017, framed offset lithograph: 600 x 1000 mm

By isolating the typographic language of the archive, the work questions how graphic design might offer up alternative perspectives; continuing to draw upon historical, cultural and social precedents whilst offering a reading different to that shaped by more established canons.

Slow Seeing and Attention to Make
The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, 2016

Slow Seeing and Attention to Make
, 2016, installation view: The Dowse Art Museum

Working with The Dowse Art Museum posters that were made between the 1970s and 1990s, Slow Seeing and Attention to Make removes the exhibition text and images but retains the specific graphic design elements.

Slow Seeing and Attention to Make, 2016, digital print on ACM: 841 x 1189mm (each)

The visual language or fundamental rules of design – aspects such as line, rhythm, movement, balance, pattern and framing – are used to analyse the voice of the institution through looking at the changes in typography over time.

Boring month start to finish, the whole month
North Projects, Christchurch, 2016

Boring month start to finish, the whole month
, 2016, digital print on trace, custom newspaper holders, assorted fittings: dimensions variable

You stay late till last and take from that morning’s paper the puzzles, twice, half-done and into the bag: pages pale like a fish, lines rambling like a derailed train. What does it mean to function, be fiction, be helpful (or not)? To bite wet paper in the fashion of a vandal—

The outline of our exchange, on the page, a reasonable territory to begin.

Lying around the tumbly jungle of the book might a cryptic creature live in the signature above? Could today’s clue relocate to trace the posture of a beanbag, the exhausted river bird found in the street, a free tooth prominent up front?

Knotty words with a snappy comic: horsing around, sheepishly human, falling and flashing pages, rudely.

Boring month start to finish, the whole month
, 2016, digital print: 594 x 841mm (each), custom newspaper holders

Dawn Blood, Sophie Davis, Newspaper Reading Club, Ella Sutherland, Eleanor Weber, Riet Wijnen,
Pale Like a Fish, Christchurch, N.Z : Ilam Press and North Projects, 2016. Risograph printed, 104pp, 112 x 178mm, edition of 200

Pale like a Fish brings together a series of contributions from artists, writers and designers, developing a territory to think about the navigation of text, language and design in printed spaces. The publication seeks to position the page as a space to work in and outside of commercial endeavors; looking at how the influence of gesture and narrative in understanding ‘typical’ reading spaces may include detour and occasion, rereading and exchange.

Speaking Places : How to Work
With Matthew Galloway, curated by Kim Paton
Ramp Gallery, Hamilton, 2015

Speaking places: How to Work, 2015, with Matthew Galloway, installation view: Ramp Gallery, Hamilton

An exhibition developed in collaboration with  artist Matthew Galloway to signal the launch of a larger temporary public art project, Speaking Places.

Speaking places: How to Work, 2015, with Matthew Galloway, installation view: Ramp Gallery, Hamilton

Focusing on the ways language may exist and collide within the context of a specific locale, Speaking Places: How to work looks at the different ways in which the by-products of the natural and constructed environment can be understood, highlighted, traced and proposed.

Ella Sutherland and Matthew Galloway, Speaking places: Hamilton 2015, Hamilton, New Zealand : Ramp Gallery, 2015.
Offset printed, 24pp, edition of 1500

The Speaking Places: Hamilton 2015 publication seeks to question how graphic design might offer alternative perspectives; drawing upon historical, cultural and social precedents whilst also claiming its own identity as an autonomous form.

The Right Here and the Moving
ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland, 2014

The right here and the moving
, 2014, installation view: ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland

Borrowing the aesthetic of economic modeling, The right here and the moving is an attempt to visualise two options for the artist working in a social setting: either adopting a common language, or imposing one from outside.

The right here and the moving, 2014, installation view: ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland

While as a diagram it implies linear clarity and textbook resolution, here pattern, colour and narrative are equally important. In the window space the diagram is broken down into its physical components, and operates simultaneously on multiple planes.

princess x sleeping muse

With Dawn Marble

TCB, Melbourne, 2015

Large book no one can afford, that no one can pick up. A page, paper, peeling, freezing; a frieze around a dark room. Moving along a theme, touching the ears of the sun, a cool blue light, an empty lecture theatre with a vacant mic. Rest for a moment on the couch.

Bound by international paper sizes – bureacratic modes subverted as poetry, something beyond our bodies to curve into, nestle, erase – rewrite. Let the book have arms, eyelashes, lips. The paper holds a power that needs to dissolve, evaporate into an earring, a scent, a palette, a material that invokes the flow to distraction –

princess x sleeping muse, 2015, installation view: TCB

I wanna
Make the paper wet
Not just with tears
With every liquid I can find
Or just leave it under my bed in a damp house
Damp palace
Where art goes to die
Books go to die
Designed by gel manicures
Pursue them
Pursue your goals
Then call me
The phone rings
I can’t believe this is art
I can’t believe this is in a gallery
I can’t believe I’m human
I can’t
Shut your eyes
Just shut them
A performance is happening

Home & Away
With Dave Marshall
RM at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2014

Ella Sutherland and Dave Marshall, Home & Away, Auckland, New Zealand : RM Gallery, 2014.
Risograph printed, 24pp, 210 x 297mm, edition of 300

A publication commissioned by RM Gallery for inclusion in International Artist Initiated, an exhibition project hosted by David Dale Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland.


Window Gallery, Auckland, 2014

Using elements of the past two years of Dog Park Art Project Space exhibition posters, Doghaus explores the notion of an unfolding graphic identity within an exhibition practice, the practical aesthetic of Bauhaus, and a personal obsession with Matisse’s mural Dance (1932–33).

Doghaus, 2014, digital print on PVC: 4000 x 2800mm

Framed as a provisional conclusion to a project that sought a permanence and momentum Doghaus reveals Dog Park’s exhibition poster series as a practical, parallel action—acknowledging what perhaps began as a crafty elimination to a problem, gradually became the basis for a cohesive visual identify.


Like completely erased – one hot line spinning through time
With Dawn Marble

Fuzzyvibes, Auckland, 2013

She looks around the room
Smooth room
Sandy, smooth room
Nothing to fear here in the sandy, smooth room

Walk into the office and the floor is covered in flowers, I pass you a small white bear and say, "something I found at the mall or something." I notice a koala bear clipped to your finger, one of those ones that can clip onto anything. Cheap but yummy.
Quality / quantity.

What are you looking for?
(Looks around the room)
Empty, smooth look around the perfect smooth room

Like completely erased – one hot line spinning through time, 2013, with Dawn Marble, installation view: Fuzzyvibes, Auckland

An Unbearded Athletic Youth
Curated by Melanie Oliver
The Physics Room, Christchurch, 2013

No repeats, one moment, one space, 2013, digital print: 594 x 841mm (each)

An unbearded, athletic youth negotiates the responsibility of a graphic system across contexts; appropriating, transcribing and collating to figure the relationship between communicative language and representational objects.

Slurring of the false spiral, 2013, clay, slip, pine, water-based acrylic: dimensions variable

An unbearded, athletic youth coaxes a graphic sensibility to operate in a different register; the planned and the erratic are brought together to complement and complicate a rational system.

A remarkably sure touch, 2013, digital print on aluminium: dimensions variable

Where does one begin, making our way through this riot of voices tumbling forth from our own histories, your history, history’s history. It’s a real fruit salad of surfaces out there, but how does once describe a voice whose time we cannot see?

Seeing Which Way The Wind Blows
With Matthew Galloway 
split/fountain, Auckland, 2012

Seeing Which Way The Wind Blows, 2012, with Matthew Galloway, installation view: split/fountain, Auckland

Seeing which way the wind blows was a collaborative project with Matthew Galloway at split/fountain in early 2013. Over a period of ten days split/fountain was used as a meeting place, studio, and point of entry into Auckland City.

Seeing Which Way The Wind Blows, 2012, with Matthew Galloway, installation view: split/fountain, Auckland

We wanted to use graphic design as a tool to mark, measure and translate; to produce a publication that would act as a flag of sorts in our new location. The hope was that, once marked, measured and translated, it would look something like a map of the city.

Ella Sutherland and Matthew Galloway, Seeing Which Way The Wind Blows, Auckland, New Zealand : 2013.
Risograph printed, 56pp, 195 x 280mm, edition of 200

Armed with only four loosely outlined approaches we had no choice but to be authors of the situation and to engage our power as producers to translate our quick succession of experiences into an experience for the audience. It was only through this, through presence in production, that we could tame the unique moment into readable form.

This That
With Dave Marshall
Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch, 2012

This That, 2012, with Dave Marshall, installation view: Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch

This That  developed out of a conversation between Waltham, local car culture and the nature of the surrounding industry. There was no avoiding that the gallery, situated in an ex-mechanics workshop under the shadow of the former AMI stadium, was anything other than this. And then there were the cars.

This That, 2012, with Dave Marshall, cut vinyl: dimensions variable 

Given the nature, the history and location of the space it seemed appropriate to be offering a service; to position the gallery in approximately the same realm as what was native to the area. We started collecting images of factory standard vehicle decals and redrawing them as single colour replicas – we liked the idea of coming in at the soft end of the industrial spectrum with superfluous decoration.

This That, 2012, with Dave Marshall, opening event: Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch

We installed a workspace and designed a system for the application of the decals to the cars, all the while constantly assessing whether what we were doing was for practical measures or for art. We aligned everything as closely as we could to our idea of the area—racks, rolls, bench, heater, numbers, plants, stereo, liquids—hoping to imbue enough subtle cues for people to connect into their own familial map of industry.

This That, 2012, with Dave Marshall, installation view: Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch

For the duration of the show, Dave and I were in and out of the space working on people’s cars. They would drive in, have a bad cup of coffee, discuss what they wanted and then hang around, bored, for 40 minutes while Dave and I tried on our best professional look. The simple parameter of applying decals to cars created a space for a whole range of conversations.

What eventuated was a process that produced markers for a certain group of people – the decal indicating a certain membership to a series of events and to a community. The cars became firstly moving advertisements for the show, and then, once the show was finished, a living documentation.

New Artists Show
Artspace, Auckland, 2012

Popular Brands to Steal, 2012, digital print on vinyl: 841 x 1189mm

Popular Brands to Steal, proposes a series of models that attempt to analyse the underlying parameters of a set of serial information. In this instance, the data lists all of the stolen cars in Auckland from the beginning of 2012, until the point when the project was presented at Artspace in October of that year.

Popular Brands to Steal, Auckland, New Zealand : Artspace, 2012.
Risograph printed, 42pp, 205 x 285mm, edition of 200

The publication looks at the re-use of logic to sanction new space, sites that are built using the constraining order of the city but reconfigured to function in a new way. I was interested in how parts of established systems can be filled with new languages, meanings and codes through a process of tactical negotiation. Popular Brands to Steal is about the renegotiation of public to private via. subtle tactics of resistance.

The second component of the work is a reimagining of the data in the form of car stickers, which alongside the publication, possess an inherent sense of potential. The distribution of the stickers introduces an element of process to the work, an element that playfully echoes the movement suggested by this context. Each component encourages fluidity between the audience, their own experience and the models in the publication.