Ella Sutherland’s approach to making is broad and interdisciplinary, with her practice encompassing painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, and publishing. Her work is primarily visual in nature, and non-verbal (at least in the strict sense). It speaks to artistic traditions such as post-painterly abstraction and hard-edge painting, and yet the works also contain the clear and unmistakable use of type and pre-existing graphical forms; albeit ones that appear to be used solely as compositional elements—scaffolds upon which she constructs images or compositions, and whose textual meaning, if there were any, is obfuscated. This use of type and graphical form, as well as its rendering of (highly stylised) representations of spaces and things, whilst playful and chic, nevertheless corrupt any notion of a ‘clear view’. Sullying the purity of non-representational space, and thus breaking with those traditions with which they share a formal language. 

Ella Sutherland graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (2012). Since graduating her work has been shown widely throughout New Zealand and international venues. Recent exhibition highlights include At Once Bridge and Chasm, Sumer, Tauranga (2022); Things That Shape Us, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Christchurch (2021); Every Artist, City Gallery, Wellington (2021); Whether the Weather, ANKLES at Carriageworks, Sydney (2021); FOLDS, Sumer, Tauranga (2020); Letters, Auckland Art Fair 2020 Virtual Fair (2020); Friendship as a Way of Life, UNSW Gallery, Sydney (2020); Bookworks, Monash Museum of Art, Melbourne (2020); Returns, 12th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2019). Sutherland has been awarded residencies with Banff Centre for Arts, Banff; International Art Space, Perth; Art Gallery of New South Wales Studio, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. In 2022, Sutherland will be an artist-in-residence for 12 months at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.


140–142 McEvoy Street
Alexandria NSW 2015


Represented by Sumer

Selected Solo Projects

2022     FUTURES, Melbourne (upcoming)

2022     Sumer, Tauranga : At Once Bridge and Chasm

2021     ANKLES at Carriageworks, Sydney : Whether the Weather

2021     Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki, Christchurch : Housepainting I + II

2020     Sumer, Tauranga : FOLDS
2020     Te Tuhi, Auckland : Keys to The Book of the City of Ladies
2020     Sumer, Auckland Art Fair Virtual Fair: Letters
2019     Objectspace, Auckland : Recto Verso
2019     Ilam Campus Gallery, Christchurch : Carte Blanche
2018     Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington : Margins & Satellites
2016     The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington : Slow seeing and attention to make
2015     North Projects, Christchurch : Boring month start to finish
2014     ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland : The Right Here and the Moving
2014     Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin : The Comedy Loop
2013     The Physics Room, Christchurch : An Unbearded Athletic Youth
2013     SoFA Gallery, Christchurch : Madness in the Crowd

Selected Group Projects

2021     Sumer + Laree Payne Gallery : Pīpīwharauroa Shining Cuckoo
2021     Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Christchurch : Things That Shape Us
2021     City Gallery Wellington, Wellington : Every Artist
2020     UNSW Galleries, Sydney : Friendship as a Way of Life
2019     Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne : Bookworks
2019     Ramp Gallery, Hamilton : Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa
2018     12th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju: Imagined Borders
2016     Objectspace, Auckland : Beauty is in the Street
2015     Rockies, Auckland : DEKA (with Imogen Taylor)
2015     Ramp Gallery, Hamilton : Speaking Places: How to work (with Matthew Galloway)
2015     RM, Auckland : International Artist Initiated
2015     TCB, Melbourne : Princess x sleeping muse (with Dawn Marble)
2014     Fuzzyvibes, Auckland : One hot line spinning through time (with Dawn Marble)
2014     Window, Auckland : Doghaus (with Dog Park)
2013     Slopes, Melbourne : The Knock-off Show
2013     Split/fountain, Auckland : Seeing Which Way The Wind Blows (with Matthew Galloway)
2012     Artspace, Auckland : New Artists Show
2012     The Physics Room, Christchurch : Happiness Sprinkle
2012     Dog Park, Christchurch : This That (with Dave Marshall)

2011     ABC, Christchurch : Feeding Time

Selected Writing Projects

2020     Dwelling in the Margins : Bliss (with Sophie Davis) 
2019     Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything : Signature Piece
2016     Assay / Essay : Feel Good Success in the Transitional City
2015     Speaking Places: Hamilton 2015 : In a Riot of Bubbles
2014     UN magazine 8.2 : Bomber Jacket for Marilyn Waring: Glossary terms A and C
2013     Work Book : Building with the ghost bitch
2012     Points of Departure : For Christchurch, with love


2013     Master of Fine Arts with Distinction, University of Canterbury
2011     Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours, University of Canterbury
2010     Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury

Awards & Residencies

2022–23  Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin : Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Arts Residency (upcoming)

2020     Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris : Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Moya Dyring Memorial Studio
2020     International Art Space, Western Australia : spaced 4: rural utopias

2018     Banff Centre, Banff : The Evolving Book Residency
2018     Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington : Summer Resident

2017     Finalist, John Fries Award, Sydney
2017     Finalist, Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, Sydney
2016     Merit Award, National Contemporary Art Award, Hamilton


2021      Dr Veronica Tello, ‘Archives of Love and Shame’, Friendship as a Way of Life, Essay
2021     Michael Do, ‘Ella Sutherland’, Art Collector issue 95, Article
2021     Chloe Lane, ‘Writer Chloe Lane interviews artist Ella Sutherland’, The Art Paper, Interview
2020     John Hurrell, ‘Layered ‘Abstraction’, Eyecontact, Review
2019     Sophie Davis, ‘Collating language: typographic fragments and Ella Sutherland’s Carte Blanche,‘ Ilam Campus Gallery, Exhibition Essay
2018     Owen Connors, ‘the life of az,‘ Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Exhibition Essay
2018     Kirsty Baker, ‘Shaped by hands and words: queer publishing, a visual gesture,‘ Art and Australia, Review
2018     Jane Wallace, ‘Words Cut Loose,’ Sailent, Review
2015     Kim Paton, ‘Speaking Places,’ Speaking Places: How to Work, Exhibition Essay
2015     Keir Leslie, ‘Pondering the Puzzles Page,’ EyeContact, Review
2013     Keir Leslie, ‘Thinking about the Ancient Greeks,’ EyeContact, Review
2012     Mark Harvey, ‘Part 1 of Artspace’s Survey,’ EyeContact, Review
2012     Ashlin Raymond, ‘Dark Auckland Streets,’ The New Artists Show pt.1., Exhibition Essay