• Yvonne Todd

Yvonne Todd’s newest series, Brides, sees the renowned photographer revisit the early days of her career working as a commercial wedding photographer in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in the 1990s. Shot on location in now-derelict outdoor wedding locations, Todd infuses the conventional bridal portrait with her signature elixir of eeriness and elegance, where creepy cultish rituals collide with the glossy glamour of wedding magazines.

Todd’s distinctive costuming hints toward an elaborate backstory for each of her enigmatic subjects. Ruffled peach satin is donned, perhaps, by the embittered heroine of a romance novel, while furry yellow trousers evoke lusty satyrs and wide-eyed nymphs. A white veil from the 1930s resembles those worn by novice nuns, while a colourful gown stencilled with butterflies (worn by the artist’s mother to a family wedding in the early 1980s) is serving clown couture. Placed among mysterious symbolism of fallen peaches, locked gates, and gelatinous orbs, Todd’s unsettling bridal portraits don’t quite fit into familiar wedding tropes. What, exactly, are her brides marrying into?

One of New Zealand’s most significant contemporary photographers, Yvonne Todd (b. 1973) has exhibited widely across New Zealand and internationally, including a major survey exhibition Creamy Psychology at City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi in 2014. She was the winner of the inaugural Walters Prize in 2002, where international judge Harald Szeemann described her work as the one that that irritated him the most. In 2019, she was the recipient of a prestigious Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

Courtesy of the artist and McLeavey Gallery, Wellington and Ivan Anthony, Auckland, with generous support from private patrons.

Opening Hours

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  • 45 Laings Road
  • Pōneke Wellington, Lower Hutt