Lisa Munnelly is an artist based in Wellington, Aotearoa NZ, whose practice is positioned at the intersection of drawing, performance and installation. Devising and adhering to strict frameworks has become a signature of Munnelly’s work, as an embodiment of both economy and excess where formal constraints within the drawings often contrast with their sense of scale and materiality. She has presented work in various international and local contexts, most recently for the Performing, Writing symposium (PA2017), Toi Pōneke Wellington Arts Centre, and Lux Light Festival 2017. She has also contributed to publications such as Performance Design (2006) - the first book on the topic.


21st February - 24th February

The work involves a series of silhouette portraits executed in charcoal and graphite. Munnelly draws upon the fleeting shadows of strangers to inhabit and explore the liminal space between presence and absence through drawing. This way of working can trace its beginnings back to an ancient Greek myth that is described as the origin of drawing, in which a woman anticipates her lover leaving on a long journey and traces the outline of his shadow before he leaves. Both then and now, a presentiment of absence fuels the desire to draw; to cast out lines as anchors and inscribe marks to fix what is fleeting. In this work however, the identity of the drawer and those drawn is hidden from each other by a screen, and the artist is not tracing the likeness of one known to her but the silhouettes of strangers. Drawn to Light transforms the shipping container into a hybrid space akin to the photo-booth and gallery, with one end of the container functioning as a studio and the other end as a screen that displays the accumulating collection of portraits over the exhibition period.

Thanks to Oli Blair and Jack Tapley for technical assistance, Massey University 3D Workshop Technicians

Supported by Hiremaster, Massey University, and Wellington City Council Public Art Fund 


New Zealand 


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