• Zara Dolan
  • Wi Te Tau Pirika Taepa
  • Stephen Ellis
  • Jon Tootill
  • Kāryn Taylor
  • Simon Kaan
Sanderson Contemporary Aotearoa Art Fair

Zara Dolan
Zara Dolan is an Irish born artist, based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Her current series of work involves one-off monotype prints created on a traditional printmaking press, which has been customised and is now the largest in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dolan’s work presents a dynamic energy - a suspended moment of lively animation. Drawing on abstract expressionist gesture, her mark making is direct and intuitive, mediated only by the application of colour and the printing process. It is Dolan’s intention, through her role as intermediary, that the emotive action achieves form and chaos realizes order during the printing process. The titles of each work encodes the process.

Dolan’s practice hinges on the process-driven nature of monotype printing. The works materialise the very moment before the printing takes place; the artist applying multiple layers of ink onto the printing plate followed by a subtractive process of removing ink from its surface. Once rolled, the image transfers unable to be recreated, making every print unique. Each work is titled to encapsulate their creative voyage; reflecting the HEX colour code, press cycles, and tools used within their artistic amalgamation.

Drawing on abstract expressionist mark making, Dolan’s gestures are direct and intuitive; mediated by the application of colour. Each work follows a meticulous set of repeated motions, guided by a precise methodology that the artist has developed over years of art making. Yet, each iteration is also spontaneous - an immediate translation of painterly gesture and expression.

Dolan completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury (ILAM) in 2021. She previously studied a BA (Honours) Degree in Fine Arts in Ireland.

Wi Te Tau Pirika Taepa
Wi Te Tau Pirika Taepa (Te-Roro-o-Te-Rangi, Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa) ONZM is a master of Māori clay art, with a career spanning over 30 years.

In 2022 Taepa was a recipient of the Platinum Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours and was appointed as an Officer of the Order (ONZM) for his services to Māori art, particularly ceramics. Taepa has been at the forefront of promoting uku, the medium of clay, within te ao Māori since the mid 1980’s and is celebrated for his unique practice - his works are predominantly hand built using coil, slab or pinch pot techniques.

The artist has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, including a solo exhibition at City Gallery Te Whare Toi Pōneke Wellington in 2012 and a retrospective in 2018 at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Taepa first showed his work at Sanderson in 2019, alongside Simon Kaan and Jon Tootill. In 2021, Taepa introduced a new suite of ceramics in Te Hā o te Marama, an exhibition presented in collaboration with Simon Kaan. Most recently Taepa presented Maumahara alongside Simon Kaan at Sanderson Contemporary in 2022 and Te Au in 2023.

Stephen Ellis
Stephen Ellis is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. With a background in film, Ellis is known for his unique process where he builds dioramas, from which his compositions are derived. The artist’s recent series’ Unfolding (2022) and Lamp Black (2023), show an exciting shift in the artist's process where he has now begun using a text-to-image AI collaborator as part of his modelling process. The result is a group of dreamlike surreal landscapes that present a provocative discourse around our future and the future of our natural world.

“Stephen Ellis’ meticulously rendered drawings poetically engage the materialisation of climate change – that slow-moving apocalypse now rapidly gaining pace – once considered a “theory” yet now demonstrably manifesting in volatile physical forms both felt and lived.

The artist positions his imagery in the shifting, uncertain terrain between our imaginings of climate change and our representations of it. He depicts the Earth overwhelmed by the resulting natural forces: stormy seas and brooding skies feature prominently, also connecting Ellis to aesthetic traditions of the Sublime.” Excerpts from essay by Emil McAvoy

Jon Tootill
Jon Tootill (Ngāi Tahu, Pākehā) is a contemporary painter celebrated as a master of contemporary geometric abstraction in Aotearoa[1]. The precision and lucidity of the artist’s imagery is often compared with New Zealand masters Gordon Walters and Theo Schoon. Tootill’s practice is an exploration into the seasonal colours in Aotearoa’s landscape. Focussing on the colours of Koanga (spring), Raumati (summer), Ngahuru (autumn) and Takurua (winter) his artwork reflects the inspiration he finds from the hues of flora and fauna that surround him over the year. Drawing from his Māori heritage Tootill presents engaging interpretations of traditional lattice work and raranga (weaving) in his paintings, whilst in others inspiration from whakairo (Māori carving) can be recognised. New Zealand art historian Michael Dunn notes: ‘By searching for his roots in his Maori heritage and view of the natural world in art and life [Tootill] has found a personal space full of feeling and visual meaning.’ [1] Dunn, M. (2022, November 14). Seasoned Paintings - Recent Work by Jon Tootill. Art New Zealand, Summer 2022 (Issue 184).

Kāryn Taylor
Kāryn Taylor manipulates materials, light, form and shadow to challenge our perception of the structures that ground our reality. Her practice is informed by geometric abstraction, which stems from her interest in quantum physics. Kāryn produces self-illuminating light boxes and multi-dimensional installations. The light boxes are intense in colour with their glowing lines of light that defy logic. They are analogue, glowing without power. Their illumination is striking; convincing many that there must be some kind of hidden mechanism or light source.

The artist was a finalist in the Fulbright Wallace Award, Parkin Drawing Prize, the Waikato Contemporary Art Award and the Lola Anne Tunbridge Award. She lives and works in Māpua, Nelson.

Simon Kaan
Simon Kaan (born 1971, Ōtepoti/Dunedin) is a celebrated painter and print maker of Chinese, Māori (Ngāi Tahu) and Pākeha ancestry. Kaan possesses a refined visual language developed over decades, intrinsically tied to his sense of personal genealogy. His practice considers the implications of the intermingling of the Ngāi Tahu and Chinese elements of his heritage, through iconography and processes of making. In a practice that includes painting, printmaking and performance, Kaan is concerned with identity, and with the physical and metaphysical notions of space and time. Kaan was the first recipient of the Asia:NZ/Creative New Zealand (CNZ) artists residency at Beijing’s Red Gate Gallery. The artist often collaborates and exhibits with celebrated New Zealand ceramicist Wi Te Tau Pirika Taepa ONZM (born 1946, Pōneke/Wellington) and was a recently featured on the programme ‘Fine Arts from ASIA: Art Stories In Aotearoa’ with Radio New Zealand, alongside sculptor Yona Lee and interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara. Kaan’s artworks Te Au I & Te Au II were recently acquired for the permanent collection at Christchurch Art Gallery.

Sanderson Contemporary performs the role of an intermediary, developing an ongoing dialogue between artists and patrons, allowing each of these vital groups to sustain and challenge the other. By supporting contemporary artists in their practice, the gallery acts to build appreciation of their artworks and projects. This is an inclusive process, one that welcomes and educates, promoting the growth of the art community as a whole.

Established in 2002, Sanderson Contemporary has developed a loyal following, representing a stable of emerging and established New Zealand artists, while also sustaining a programme of auxiliary projects. Originally located in Parnell, the gallery relocated to an expanded space in Newmarket in 2013 and now offers two distinct exhibition rooms. The gallery has exhibited at Auckland Art Fair since 2009 and art fairs in Australia since 2014.