Helen Mitchell

Helen Mitchell

Major coordinator photography and team leader, Whiti o Rehua School of Art

Helen Mitchell is a photographer whose work examines contemporary culture through the practices of portraiture and documentary photography. Her research focuses on the documentation of tattooing locally and internationally with the exploration of tattooing and its relationship to post-coloniality and cultural exchange. Mitchell lectures in photography across the diploma and degree and supervises at Masters level.

  • Expertise

    Engaged in research-based photographic exhibition projects. Theoretical platform concerned with archiving contemporary culture, examining cultural exchange and questions of identity.

  • Research Highlights

    Portraits of Ink (2012) Photospace Gallery, Wellington
    A photographic project which illustrates an ever-evolving archive of contemporary tattoo culture and relationships between tattoo collectors and their commissioned artworks. The stories behind the tattoos are as interesting and diverse as the tattoos themselves.

    Shifting Identity - The Evolution of a New Tattoo Culture in Hong Kong (2011) Photospace Gallery, Wellington
    Shifting Identity combines street scenes of Hong Kong with portraits of tattooists in an exposition of contemporary tattoo culture. This exhibition examines the way in which tattooing functions as an agent of cultural exchange and  explores a contemporary tattoo renaissance that is currently occurring in post-colonial society.

    l'enjeu du jeu: Playing the game, Musee de la Ville, Noumea (2010), and Capital E, Wellington (2011)
    This project is a sociological photographic case study that compares the way children play in an historical colonial context - specifically Noumea in the early twentieth century - to one of post-colonial New Zealand.

  • Qualifications

    Diploma in Photography (Wellington Polytechnic)
    Diploma in Arts (Victoria University)
    Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts (Massey University)
    MFA (Massey University)