Kingston-based, Philippa O’Brien attended the School of Fine Arts at Massey University in Wellington and graduated with a Diploma in Photography with Distinction (2013).
Prior to this, she spent 22 years in the Costume Department within the New Zealand film industry with international experience that took her to Ireland, U.K., Czech Republic and Malta.
She is an exhibiting artist and her concurrent projects include:
Photofables which she describes as a playful, conceptual series: People dressed as animals or supernatural creatures act out a modern fable with a narrative that takes a strange twist, and shakes the preconceptions of associated stereotypes.
Roller Derby is a nationwide project which began in Wellington, where she made a series of environmental portraits of twelve skaters within the Richer City League. Over the last three years she has also covered Whangarei’s Northland Nightmares; Tauranga’s Mount Milita and Whakatane’s WRDL, and this year she looks to shoot Auckland’s two major leagues, along with leagues in Christchurch and Dunedin: “I shoot on medium format film cameras and choose to explore individual skater personality and style, over the usual dynamic depiction of the subject,” she says.
And lastly, her project ‘Animalia Familia’ is a conceptual family portraiture service which takes place within the family’s own home: “I shoot at high speed 1/500 of a sec so that the children and or pets can get into the fun by jumping off couches and generally letting loose. The knock-on effect is that the parents usually relax and express themselves as individuals within the family dynamic.”
To find out more about Philippa’s work, head to her websites: