About ‘New Monuments’ and 'Nice Background'

‘New Monuments’ and 'Nice Background' constitute an ongoing project about image culture and the changing landscape of Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu/New Zealand. These photographs are about how our experiences of this place are mediated through images, and how these landscapes, their histories, and our experiences of them, are commodified. These pictures depict the commercial picturesque and the artificial sublime in New Zealand, focusing on the mediated, constructed landscape in a world of images, where everything is manipulated, altered and enhanced. They are a reaction to the grotesque everyday picturesque depictions of nature in our consumer society and to the follies of our evermore-elaborate attempts at the commercialization of the landscape and at resource extraction from this place, as well as the ‘monuments’ these changes leave behind.


Mark Bolland is Studio Co-ordinator for Photography and Electronic Arts at Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2004 he has divided his time between teaching, writing and his art practice. He has written essays for exhibition catalogues on a range of artists, including Thomas Demand & Jeff Wall and many articles for journals and magazines, including Art New Zealand, PA Magazine, Photoworks, Portfolio, Source and others. He has exhibited photographic work in both the UK and New Zealand. Most recently he was a finalist in the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award at the Waikato Museum, Hamilton, New Zealand and has had solo exhibitions in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.


Nice Background Book

Essays by Bridie Lonie & Emily Goldthorpe, Edited by Lauren Gutsell, Design by Gregory Thomas

Nice Background is a limited edition, self-published artist's book and is available for purchase on demand.

Contact Mark via this website for more details.



March 2017: New Monuments exhibition at Photospace Gallery, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington from Friday 24th March and runs until 15th April, 2017. Mark will give a gallery talk about his work on Saturday, 25th March, 11am

See also: http://www.photospacegallery.com/blog/mark-bolland-new-monuments-24-march-15-april-2017


September 2016: 'Sacred Valley' chosen for the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award finalists exhibition at Waikato Museum, Hamilton


July 2016: Exhibition of work from Nice Background at Dunedin School of Art Gallery, Riego Street, Dunedin, runs from 18-30 July, with an opening evening from 5-7pm on Tuesday 19th. Gallery open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 30th


March 2016: Copies of the Nice Background book will be on display at Photobook New Zealand, Massey University, Wellington, 11-16 March


February 2016: Exhibition of work from Nice Background opening at Chambers Art Gallery, Christchurch, 15 February 2016. Exhibition runs 15 February - 5 March, Opening Night Friday 19 February 5.30, 241 Moorhouse Avenue, Christchurch