Crisis management is in place following flooding in Auckland. More information.

Contact details +6449793530

Helen Mitchell MFA, PGDipFA

Senior Lecturer

School of Art

Mitchell’s current research practice in photography focuses on Tattoo Renaissance narratives within contemporary New Zealand society.  Her images reflect concerns around construction of personal identity and cultural exchange.  This exploration combines studio portraits and documentary photography with interviews from tattooed subjects.  Mitchell explores how the customized body functions to transform and reinforce a sense of identity, individuality and to record personal experience of tattoo culture.

Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: (04) 801 5799 ext 63530
    Location: T26F, T26
    Campus: Wellington

Qualifications

  • Master of Fine Arts - Massey University (2008)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts - Massey University (2006)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

I am a photographer and photographic researcher whose work is characterized by in an interest in archiving contemporary culture through the practices of portraiture and documentary photography.  My on-going explorations examine tattooing and popular culture within a New Zealand, Pakeha, female perspective. In examining the literature prior to embarking on my Masters I discovered that there was little extant research in the area of women and tattooing. My Masters thesis addressed some of these omissions and contributed to primary research in this area. Following the Masters

thesis and exhibition, my emerging lines of enquiry focus on the documentation of tattooing and popular culture locally and internationally and I am currently engaged in a number of photographic projects on tattooing in its non-indigenous forms. The first of these critical examinations focuses on

tattooing as it makes the transition from sub-culture to popular culture in New Zealand. This strand of my research combines two areas of importance in my practice, namely documentary photography and portraiture.  Documentary photography and photographic portraiture function across my creative practice and the disciplines combine to examine questions of identity in discrete areas of study. My engagement with portrait photography encompasses a range of sociological areas.

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Lens-based Practice (190503): Studies In Creative Arts And Writing (190000): Visual Arts and Crafts (190500)

Keywords

Portrait Photography

Alpine Photography

Photographic Studio expertise

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 4

Research Outputs

Journal

Mitchell, HP., & Scott, H. (2009). Walk The Line. Landscape Architecture New Zealand. (2), 42-49 Retrieved from http://www.agm.co.nz/images/pdfs/LN0609_Kaimanawa.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Scott, H., & Mitchell, HP. (2009). Walk the line. Landscape Architecture New Zealand. 2, 42-49 Retrieved from http://www.agm.co.nz/images/pdfs/LN0609_Kaimanawa.pdf
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Walk The Line.
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Walk The Line.
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Walk The Line.
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Walk The Line.
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Walk The Line.
[Journal article]Authored by: Mitchell, H.

Book

(2017). Tattoo Stories Exhibition Publication by Helen Mitchell..
[Edited Book]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
(2015). Hong Kong Ink: Tattoo Culture and Identity exhibition catalogue.
[Edited Book]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
(2015). Tattoo Aotearoa New Zealand Exhibition Catalogue.
[Edited Book]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Jayers Ko, ., & Mitchell, H. (2015). 墨子--紋身的背後, 墨子 (Behind the Tattoo) Helen Mitchell in Conversation with tattooist Jayers Ko about tattoo culture in Hong Kong. Pages 208-11. In 墨子--紋身的背後, 墨子 (Behind the Tattoo).
[Chapter]Authored by: Mitchell, H.Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.

Creative Work

Mitchell, H. (2021, April 25). A Dose of Gardening. [Photographs and writing]. Online.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2020, April 23). Helen Mitchell - 'A Month of Sundays - Responses to the Covid-19 Lockdown' online exhibition at PhotospaceGallery.nz, April 2020. (No. of Pieces: 8) [Photographs]. Online Exhibition Photospace Gallery.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2019, July 15). A tattoo show for Paul: tattoo portraits and pinhole photographs, by Helen Mitchell. (No. of Pieces: 45) [Photographic Prints]. Massey University - Te Putanga ki te Ao Matauranga.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H., Williams, J., Gilberd, J., & Scott, M. (2019, September 14). DCM's 50th Birthday Photo Exhibition “Together we can end homelessness”. (No. of Pieces: 50) [Photographic prints]. Photospace Wellington.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.Edited by: Mitchell, H.
Galloway, AB., & Mitchell, H. (2018) Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People #64. [Exhibition] Various New Zealand libraries, Various Australasian retailers
[Artwork]Authored by: Galloway, A., Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H., & Galloway, AB. (2016) Photographic Commission Bryce Galloway. [Exhibition] TBC
[Artwork]Authored by: Galloway, A., Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2016). Faces of Creativity: Tattooing as Cultural Identity [Artefact]. Victoria University of Wellington: Victoria University
[Artefact]Authored by: Mitchell, H.Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2015, October 12). Tattoo Aotearoa New Zealand. (No. of Pieces: 102) [24 x 32-inch large format, colour, photographic prints]. Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2015) Hong Kong Ink. Tattoo Culture and Identity - Photographs by Helen Mitchell. [Exhibition] Northart Gallery, Norman King Square, Ernie Mays Street, Northcote, Auckland
[Artwork]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2015) Ruapehu Crater Lake, Eruption. [Exhibition] [Photographic Print]. In Aotea: Its Our Fault Too. Te Whare Hēra Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
[Artwork]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2015, June 2). Hong Kong Ink: Tattoo Culture and Identity. [46 photographic prints. 42: 24 inch x 32 inch large format photographic prints, 4: 66 x 24 inch panoramic photographic prints]. Northart Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2013) Tattoo collectors: Solo exhibition. [Exhibition] Photospace Gallery Wellington
[Artwork]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2012, May 11). Portraits of ink. Photospace Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H., & Munnelly, L. (2012, October 12). PORTRAITS in PATTERN: textiles evoking tattoo. Co-curation.. [photographs and textiles]. Toi Poneke Arts Centre, Wellington, New Zealand.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H., Munnelly, L.Edited by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP., Betham, D., Davidson, E., Irving, M., Lake, J., McQuillan, T., . . . Williams, J. (2011). Off The Pitch: Eyes On Rugby. online.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2011). Crossing Lines Theatre Performance and Exhibition. (Performance and exhibition) Factory Space in 70 Cable St, Wellington
[Performance]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2011, August 26). Shifting Identity - The Evolution of a New Tattoo Culture in Hong Kong. (No. of Pieces: 16) [photography]. Photospace Gallery Wellington.
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP., Febvre Richards, ER., & Webster, T. (2010). l'en du jeu: Playing the game. Musee de la Ville, Noumea, New Caledonia (09 Apr - 07 May).
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2010). Portrait commission of Wahine survivor, Shirley Hicks [Artefact]. Museum of Wellington City and Sea: Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Wellington, NZ
[Artefact]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2009, November 13). Show Me Your Tattoo. (No. of Pieces: 22) Auckland Tattoo Convention, Auckland, New Zealand (14 Nov - 15 Nov).
[Exhibition]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP., & Munnelly, L.PORTRAITS in PATTERN: textiles evoking tattoo. [Exhibition] Toi Poneke Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington
[Artwork]Edited by: Mitchell, H.

Thesis

Mitchell, HP. (2007). Emotionally loaded: An investigation into tattooing and identity in a female pakeha context. (Master's Thesis, Massey University, Wellington, NZ)
[Masters Thesis]Authored by: Mitchell, H.

Conference

Mitchell, H. (2017, April). When you’re lost for words... get a tattoo. Presented at Talking Bodies: An interdisciplinary, international project in the Institute of Gender Studies at the University of Chester Third Biennial Conference. Chester, England, UK.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2015, June). Written on the body: Tattoo narratives. Presented at POPCAANZ Sixth Annual Conference. Wellington, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, H. (2013, May). Issues in contemporary photographic documentary practice. Presented at Photographic Society of New Zealand 61st National Convention. Wellington, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2011). Tattoo renaissance and cultural exchange, a case study from Hong Kong.. , Contact: Art Association of Australia and New Zealand
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2010). Transforming the traditional historical photographic technique in contemporary practice. , Tradition and Transformation: Art Association of Australia and New Zealand 2010 Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2010). Archiving the Tattoo. , Imaging Identity: Media and Visions of Humanity in the Digital Present.
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP.Tattoo Renaissance and Cultural Exchange, a case study from Hong Kong.
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Mitchell, H.

Other

Mitchell, H. (2017). Tattoo Stories exhibition contextualised publication.
[Other]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Knott, K. (2015). Hong Kong's 'new tattoo culture': Photographer charts its evolution. South China Morning Post
[Other]Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.
McCauley, R., & Mitchell, H. (2014). Drive by Shooting: Reflections on the work of Ryan McCauley. (pp. 72 - 73). In Strangely Familiar: Photographs by Ryan McCauley. Catalogue to accompany exhibition at the Morrinsville Wallace Gallery, New Zealand. 20th November- 16th December, 2014
[Other]Authored by: Mitchell, H.Contributed to by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP., & Scott, H. (2009). Walk the line. (pp. 42 - 49). AGM Publishing Limited
[Other]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP., & Scott, H. (2009). Walk The Line. (pp. 42 - 49). AGM Publishing
[Other]Authored by: Mitchell, H.
Mitchell, HP. (2007). Archiving the tattoo workshop.
[Other]Authored by: Mitchell, H.

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Media and Links

Media

  • 11 Oct 2015 - Radio
    Helen Mitchell - Telling your Tattoo
    Interview about Tattoo Aotearoa NZ exhibition on National Radio Sunday Morning

Other Links