Ava Seymour

Hey Menes
315 x 230 x 35 mm
collage, frame
Titled, signed and dated on verso
Courtesy of the artist

Estimate: NZD 2,700 — 3,400

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In direct response to Smoke (2015), a work shown at The Bill in Artspace Aotearoa in 2016, Ava Seymour created a series of new works derived from her longstanding visual research on vintage cat pictures. The two works presented in When The Dust Settles, entitled Hey Menes and Oh Cleopatra, both share the same format, two pairings of cats sharing the same gaze. Following the gaze and sight-lines of the rockstars in Smoke, these works similarly explore the act of looking. We ourselves look to the images of these rather detached and unselfconscious characters who do not return our interest, looking towards something seemingly more important creating a third subject slightly threatening and unknown.

Artist Biography & History
with Artspace Aotearoa:


THE BILL: For Collective Unconscious (group), 20 February — 22 April 2016

Iki and Thanks For All the IKA (group), February 17 — March 30 2004, curated by Tobias Berger in partnership with Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius and Cook Islands Museum. This exhibition was originally held in Lithuania, travelled to Cook Islands Museum and returned to exhibit at Artspace, accumulating works along the way.

After Killeen: Social Observation in Recent Art (group), 13 November — 15 December 2001, curated by Anna Miles

Health, Happiness and Housing (solo), 4 June — 23 June 1997, subsequently toured to The Physics Room, Ōtautahi Christchurch, 14 March — 12 April 1998.

Folklore: The New Zealanders (group), 8 July — 1 August 1998, curated by Gavin Hipkins, subsequently toured to Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui 10 October — 22 November 1998

Laying it On Thick: Hit Me, Spurn me, Shoot me, Sell Me (group), 31 January — 23 February 1996, curated by Judy Millar, Delia Browne and Peter Shand

One Hundred and Fifty Ways of Loving (group), 22 February — 11 March 1994, curated by Ann Shelton, Paul Booth and Kirsty Cameron


Ava Seymour was included in the catalogues produced for all of the exhibitions listed above.

Ava Seymour


Ava Seymour is a Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland based artist working largely in photographic mediums. She attended Prahran College of TAFE in Melbourne in 1988 before relocating to Berlin for two years, where she began producing photo-collages. Seymour returned to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1994, and exhibited at Artspace Aotearoa multiple times in the years following.

Ava Seymour’s solo exhibition Health, Happiness and Housing was a seminal moment in the history of Artspace Aotearoa, and more broadly, contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand. The body of work that made up Health, Happiness and Housing was acquired by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2013 at the suggestion of Curator Contemporary Art Natasha Conland, who included the series in her 2013/2014 exhibition Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas. Auckland Art Gallery’s Senior Curator, New Zealand and Pacific Art Ron Brownson describes this series as "perceptive and astringent portrait of New Zealand.” Seymour was appointed a Frances Hodgkins Fellow in 2001, and completed a McCahon House Artist Residency in 2010. Her work is included in the collections of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Te Papa Tongarewa, The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, and Queensland Art Gallery.