Shadow's Studio

  • John Hoani Heta and Gina Shelford & Daniel Takarua
  • 4 March - 14 March
  • -
  • Robyn Prior and Rob Smith
  • 14 March - 23 March
  • -
  • Stephen Williams and Tosh Ahkit
  • 23 March - 4 April
  • -
  • Greg Smith and Richard Turipa
  • 4 April - 16 April
Artspace Aotearoa

Shadow’s Studio is a photographic project created within the local Karangahape Road district which is also home to Artspace Aotearoa. Through a series of convivial photo-shoots taken at the local community space Old Folks Association, artist and subject enjoyed a social interaction of company and sharing of kai: scones.

Those who were invited to be photographed are people with whom the local artist a.k.a Shadow, share many lived experiences, most commonly that of homelessness.

Shadow’s Studio seeks to celebrate those individuals the artist reveres, and the bonds of trust they have formed. These are people who like the artist have not just endured, but survived rough times.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but where the hell have you been all my fucking life?”

Shadow and Dieneke embarked on this project to create high-end photographic portraits with Dieneke’s access to institutional resources. Each studio occasion was approached as a social event in itself. Rich, personal and political conversations occurred amongst the laughter and joy between Shadow and his subjects, as evidenced in the video. Taking time to connect and collaboratively create photographic images, Shadow’s Studio explores how a camera can be an agent of hospitality. With this approach of respect and trust, Shadow has been able to create portraits that he sees as the essence of the person. This collaborative dimension continued between Shadow and Dieneke in all aspects of the project.

Shadow is a Cook Island born; kiwi raised, self-taught photographer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. He has been photographing for many years and is sometimes employed to document events by organisations such as Lifewise. Shadow believes that you should not take photographs of people without their consent. “Photography projects keep me out of trouble.”

Shadow and Dieneke have known each other since 2013 as part of Radio No Fixed Abode.

Dieneke is a Netherlands born, Tāmaki Makaurau based artist who has exhibited documentary related art projects. Projects include Dwelling on the Stoep (Jakarta Bienalle, St Paul St Gallery) and working with the Tāmaki Housing group with exhibitions Areas A & B and 90 DAYS+, A Disobedient Gesture of Remembrance, (New Zealand International Film Festival, TeTuhi, FotoNoviembre Biennial, Tenerife and Corbans Estate). She is currently exploring the social dimensions of lens-based practice with inner-city residents.

Shadow and Dieneke would like to thank: Cornelius Geraets for the printing help, AUT school Art+Design, the Old Folks Association and the subjects-models-victims-suspects themselves; John Hoani Heta, Gina Shelford & Daniel Takarua, Robyn Prior, Rob Smith, Tosh Ahkit, Stephen Williams, Greg Smith and Richard Turipa.

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday, 11am – 4pm
  • Sunday – Monday, Closed


  • Ground Floor, 292 Karangahape Road
  • Newton, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland