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Isabelle Saunders

'2020 started with an escape from the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, travelling into Slovenia, up to Berlin and then safely isolating in Norway.

'Shortly after, I found myself back in my small hometown with not much more than my camera with me. The unprecedented times saw me latch on to the people and place that I knew so well for both support and inspiration.

'My Olympus point-and-shoot camera helped me navigate the tumultuous year. These photos are humble in skill yet dynamic in capturing my reconnection with family and the land.

'This collection of photos captures my acclimatisation to Aotearoa. My father, grandfather and I spent the days looking, listening and talking in the back-country. For me, solace in the times of COVID-19 was hidden in the hills in a place called Horse Creek Hut.'


Isabelle Saunders was born in Marlborough and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Design. Growing up rurally in close proximity to hills, rivers and the sea, she found endless creative inspiration.

Isabelle works in a long-form process, studying ecologies and circular processes to motivate her designs. She feels that the artistic exchange between Land and Artist gives way to engaging in dialogues surrounding the climate crisis.

For Isabelle, photographs act as archival mediums; they are a springboard for new conceptualisations and projects. Her interest for analogue photography begun after shooting her first roll on her mothers Pentax. The automatic film medium allows her to capture moments without hesitation.

In 2014 Isabelle was selected to exhibit and auction some photographs in a community artist event. Since then, she has used the formative experience of university and COVID-19 to establish herself as a creative.

Young Artists 2021 exhibition poster, Maisie Blackwood, Jasmine Chalmers, Flynn Gough Hendrix Hennessy-Ropiha, Hazel Lockwood, Mary-Jane Martin, Photography Aotearoa exhibition responses 2020

Young Artists 2021 gallery exhibition

1. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

1. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021

3. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

3. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021

5. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

5. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021

2. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

2. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021

4. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

4. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

6. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021, Photography Aotearoa

6. Isabelle Saunders, Responses to 2020 - Young Artists 2021

This series of photographic work was submitted for the Young Artists' 2021 group exhibition but was not selected for the gallery exhibition of printed photographs.

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PHOTOGRAPHER
Isabelle Saunders
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James Gilberd
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Isabelle Saunders
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
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Clare Henwood
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