Catherine Bagnall

Catherine Bagnall

Senior lecturer, Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design

Catherine Bagnall is an artist and sometimes writer whose work focuses on the edges of fashion studies and its intersection with performance practices. Her work is often an exploration of clothing’s ability to transcend and transform the wearer. Testing the bounds of self through performative acts of ‘dressing up’, her research offers new modes of experience more sensory and baroque than we usually give value to.

  • Expertise

     Performance work; fashion studies; gender theory; environmental ecologies.

  • Research Highlights

    Bagnall, C. J. (2013). The Archive as Performance. In R. Gade and G. Borggrean (Eds.), Performing Archives/Archives of Performance, Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusulanum Press.
    In this chapter Bagnall uses the text as a performance to explore the possibility of becoming ‘other’, a creature with a tail for example. The text is based on her solo performance work where she ‘dresses up’ and hikes in remote ‘wilderness’ sites in New Zealand.

    The possibility of being the voice of other creatures (2011)
    A group of six large format photos that are framed as "somewhere between a fashion shoot and digital Rembrandt, with Bagnall playing animal”. The photos are a documentation of Bagnall’s solo performance work that explores contradictions inherent in our relationship to 'wilderness'. The photos were exhibited as part of the 'El Barroco de Aotearoa', Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte Roma, Mexico City (02 Dec 2011 - 30 Jan 2012).

    Hiking in Frocks (2011)
    Online publication: Fashion Projects. Retrieved from:
    A poetic prose piece coupled with five of Bagnall's images of her performance that engage with Kate Soper's theories of alternative hedonism. The research makes connections between ideas of an 'expanding self' and Soper's ideas of developing new modes of satisfaction that are possibly more sensory, sensual and slower than what we usually give value to.

    Bagnall, C. J. (2008). Encounters with simple pleasures. In D. Hannah, & O. Harslof (Eds.), Performance Design (pp. 178-189). Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusulanum Press.
    This chapter articulates ways of ‘becoming other’, explored via ‘dressing up’ in wilderness landscapes. As a counterpoint to the more urban and public performances of Europe, it presents critical reflection on solo performances where Bagnall’s embodied pleasure negates the 'gaze'. 

  • Qualifications

    BFA (Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University)
    MFA (Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University)

  • Supervision

    Vanessa Gerrie
    Fashion as Installation in an Age of the Runway Spectacle


    Primary supervisor: Prof. Vicki Karaminas
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Sally Morgan
    Advisor: Catherine Bagnall