• Ann Shelton

Bartley & Company Art is pleased to present a new body of work by Ann Shelton showing for the first time in Aotearoa following its debut in New York at the end of last year.

i am an old phenomenon casts Shelton in the roles of gardener, artist, image maker, forager, and researcher. As with her ongoing internationally successful series jane says, Shelton continues her investigation into the forgotten and suppressed histories of plants and knowledge of their healing and spiritual effects. As with jane says, all the plants are gathered, arranged, and photographed by Shelton, many of which she also foraged or grew from seed.

The images in i am an old phenomenon are part of the re-assemblage of fragments of this old knowledge and in their presentation invoke the persecution of wise women, witches and wortcunners (women with deep herbal knowledge) whose preservation of this information was seen as threatening. Some of the images feature suspended plants suggesting the flying witch; others are photographed submerged in water which serves as a metaphor for the suppression and loss of this knowledge, and of the witch’s watery grave. The image, pictured above, is a brand new work being exhibited for the first time.

This body of work is set both against the backdrop of the increasing exposure of misogyny globally, and the ‘Witches of Scotland’ campaign for legal pardons and historic justice for women convicted of witchcraft and executed in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday – Friday, 11am - 5.30pm
  • Saturday, 11am - 4pm
  • Or by appointment


  • Level 2/22 Garrett Street
  • Te Aro
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington 6011