Marie Shannon

Marie Shannon

Learning to Float, 2024, video

Courtesy Trish Clark Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland.

Thanks to Fullers 360.

The first step in learning to swim is learning to float, learning to trust the water to hold up your body. What seems so simple can be daunting. Playing on the video screens of the Waiheke ferry, Marie Shannon’s video demystifies this encounter. Its text suggestively instructs us in the process of learning to float. Presented on the Waiheke ferry, where the rhythm of the water can be felt through the body, it invites passengers to imagine themselves in the Gulf, allowing themselves to be gently rocked, taking their first tentative strokes.

Marie Shannon (b.1960) lives in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. In 1983, she graduated with a BFA from ElamSchool of Fine Arts. She works with photography and video, drawing and text. Her constructed photographs have featured in key shows like Imposing Narratives at Wellington City Art Gallery, in 1989, and Headlands at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, in 1992. Her retrospective Rooms Found Only in the Home was presented by Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2017. In 2021, Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery mounted her project Sleeping Near the River, produced during her 2019 Tylee Cottage residency.