The Shape of Things

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AUCKLAND, Wednesday: Celebrating an often-unrepresented way of viewing the world, Women’s Work’s latest (the 3rd in a series) exhibition The Shape of Things is coming to Tāmaki Makaurau, opening on Saturday 4 March 2023 at the Ellen Melville Centre.

Featuring over 50 thought-provoking images from 30+ professional , LED window displays, and panel discussions on the need for sharp, diverse and original work, The Shape of Things is a collaboration of over 30 professional female and non-binary photographers working to increase representation across the industry.

Co-funder/Pacey Productions ECD Briar Pacey said: “The chance to showcase and celebrate photographic work over International Women’s Day is crucial.

“As the photo industry changes and clients’ purse strings tighten, there is a greater need to connect with people in considered and interesting ways.

“A very small percentage of the top advertising photographers I have worked with worldwide have been female. This opportunity helps our wāhine connect with the world, and gives the public a moment to ponder the shape of things for women in 2023.”  

Ogilvy NZ CD Kristal Knight said: “When choosing photographers for jobs, clients and agencies will often make the selections off portfolios that are categorised and limited by what the photographer has done in the past, not by what they are capable of doing.”

Pacey: “There is a huge opportunity in breaking this convention and looking at what female photographers are capable of, that can be transferred to commercial work.

“That way we can all create fresher work and change the shape of the industry. The campaign we’re working on to support Women’s Work highlights this very notion, and challenges our ad-land audience to see what others can’t!

“Supported by AIPA, Sony, Auckland Council, Ellen Melville Centre, Ogilvy, Omnigraphics, Pacey Prod Co, and IDC (Image Driven Content).”

“While improvements in diversity have been made across the industry, Equal Lens found that fewer than 25% of commercial photographers represented by 70 of the world’s largest leading agencies are female or non-binary.

When Women’s Work started work to highlight this, Aotearoa was sitting at 14%, and is slowly climbing.”

Coupled with the fact that women and non-binary photographers are earning, on average, 40% less than their male counterparts, the collective behind Women’s Work says we still have a long way to go.

“While the industry might be ready for change, we still see a lack of diversity in campaigns and work across Aotearoa,” says photographer Victoria Baldwin, Women’s Work co-founder.

“This exhibition will highlight some of the roadblocks we face as women and non-binary photographers and will give everyone a chance to discuss how we can collectively work together to change the shape of things for a better and more creative future.”

“This year, Women’s Work will also feature a new open category for female and non-binary photographers who are not yet able to call photography their sole profession yet.

“Selected work will be displayed on a Sony screen during the show with individuals also invited to attend the private opening ceremony, giving them a chance to celebrate and network with the Women’s Work community.”

She thanked the supporters: AIPA (Advertising & Illustrative Photographers Association), Sony, Auckland Council, Ellen Melville Centre, Ogilvy, Omnigraphics, Pacey Production Company, and IDC (Image Driven Content).


Location: Pioneer Women’s Hall, Ellen Melville Centre, Cnr High St & Freyberg Place, Auckland
Dates: Saturday 4 March-Sunday 12 March
Times: Sat- Sun10am-5pm, Mon 9am-5pm, Tue 9am-4pm
Cost: Free

  • View work from exhibiting photographers Kate Grewal, Virginia Woolf, Saskia Koerner, Camilla Rutherford, Jodie James, Victoria Baldwin here:

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