Johanna Mechen works with stills, moving image and poetry in the telling of personal, ecological, historical and cultural stories. These stories explore the relationship between modalities of lens-based making and performativity in research collection, often asking groups or individuals to play a role by participating or collaborating in her storytelling. She looks in particular at how time investment through volunteering and labouring can enrich artistic investigation and make connections within communities.
Her work comes from a meditation on the medium and its multifaceted nature, as well as a desire to extend photography's ability to communicate lived experience and invisible stories both through and beyond its many processes.
She completed a Master of Fine Arts program at Massey University Wellington in 2014 and her practice has included exhibiting, curating, writing and teaching photography. She is currently a PhD candidate at Massey University Wellington where she is making an essay film on the lived experience and transitionality of motherhood in the liminal time of Covid. She lives in the Hutt Valley with her partner and two teenage children.
She is a member of the Dirty Laundry Collective.
Dirty Laundry is a collective of artists and writers whose exhibition at Toi Pōneke explored invisible labour in the home. Here, they use images and words to stitch together a 'crazy quilt' about how they collaborate and carve space for creativity in their busy lives.
The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.