Born in Devonport, Auckland in 1962, Neil Pardington is a contemporary Māori artist of Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Kati Waewae Māori and Pākeha descent. Pardington graduated from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1984 and has exhibited nationally and internationally since the mid-1980s. His artworks have been shown in public galleries including Christchurch Art Gallery, Auckland Art Gallery and City Gallery Wellington, and are held in many collections both public and private.
Currently living and working in Wellington, his photography practise draws from both the reality of documentary photography and conceptual art photography, with a sensibility that references his fine art training and early career in museums. In his work the photographic image acts as an exploration of interior space, offering us a quiet point of contemplation around the history and narrative of these sites.
"While an appreciation of the importance of observation and metaphor underpin my current practice—of equal interest to me is the personal experience viewers bring to the act of looking. In simple terms, when making these images, I try to look past the obvious—the fact of what is in front of me-to how the image will fit into other lives and other stories. Part of the strength of these images is the way they tap into personal experiences, and this will be different for each viewer. This again reinforces the photograph's ability to function as a symbol, rather than a mere representation of what is in front of the camera, or subsequently, the viewer."