Shelley Simpson is a visual artist in Aotearoa New Zealand. She is currently a PhD candidate at Auckland University of Technology, School of Art and Design. Her supervisors are Chris Braddock and Janine Randerson.

Simpson’s creative practice is an enquiry in to the way in which matter – the material and non-material that makes up the world – is densely storied. Through listening to, and participating in such stories of earthly matter, she works to deepen the way in which we, as humans, can become aware of how embedded and embodied we are in complex material, more-than-human interactions.

Simpson’s visual art outcomes include sculpture, installation, video, audio and images including photographs and non-lens based imaging such as cyanotypes. Her material exploration often borrows from science and industry, including metallurgy and scientific microscope imaging, with the intention not to know more, but to know differently. She asks, if we attend closely to our cohabitants in the world, can we unsettle modes of dominant anthropocentrism which might give us tools to think about the climate crisis?

Recognising art as a process, Simpson‘s installation approach includes considering the gallery as an active space. To this end,  she works with material exploration of transformation, such as electroforming.

Simpson received an MFA (First class honours) from Elam in 2016. In 2017, 2020 and 2021 she attended a summer school programme exploring Posthumanism, with Prof. Rosi Braidotti at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. In 2021 she was invited to create an Artist Lab for summer school participants. In 2018 she was the recipient of a Wild Creations grant from CNZ and DOC.

She is a post graduate representative for Association for the Study of Literature, Environment & Culture, Australia & New Zealand (ASLEC-ANZ)

From 2017 to 2021, she was a member of the RM Gallery and Project Space directorial collective.

Selected Exhibitions

breathing space /space breathing, with with Lucy Boermans, Yana M’Baye and Michelle Mayn, St Paul St Gallery, 2023
Fielding, with Clare Fleming and Jill McIntosh, St Paul St Gallery 3, Auckland 2022
From things flow,
with Kate van der Drift, Kathryn Tulloch and Teresa Peters, RM Gallery, Auckland 2021
Corban Estate Art Centre, Auckland 2020-2021
Sculpture on the Gulf,
Waiheke Island, Auckland 2019
Small Sculpture Showcase and Marquettes, Waiheke Community Art Gallery 2019
The Entities
a collaboration with Sarah Callesen, RM Gallery, Auckland 2018
Hardly Working
with Deborah Rundle, Clare Fleming and Wendelein Bakker, RM Gallery, Auckland 2017
Ancient Air, (Arts Diary documentation here) IWT Gallery and Project Space, Auckland 2017
Until you make itProject Space, Auckland 2016
What ever happened to the heroes? Graduate exhibition, Elam School of Art, Auckland 2016
The no-place of possibility, Elam School of Art, Auckland 2015
By Then, (Arts Diary documentation here) George Fraser Gallery, Auckland 2015
One Thing For Certain, Railway St Studio, Auckland 2014


Earlier Highlights

Space Yourself, Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Auckland 2013 (solo)
Like – Comment – Share,  CEAC, Auckland (read CEAC article here and Arts Diary documentation here) 2012 (solo)
Hoopla! Artstation with support from Creative Communities
Subduction, interactive sound and video installation, Artspace, Auckland
Subduction, video, Short Cuts Film Festival, Auckland and Wellington
Wriggler, video projection, Soliton, Auckland



Finalist, Molly Morpeth Canaday 3D Award 2020 Te koputu a te whanga a Toi Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre
 Walker and Hall National Art Award- Michael Evans Award 2012 : see more here
Finalist, Molly Morpeth Canaday 3D Award 2018 Te koputu a te whanga a Toi Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre
Finalist, Small Sculpture Prize 2017 Waiheke Art Gallery
Finalist, Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award 2017 Waikato Museum
Finalist, Objective Art Award 2013 Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku
Finalist, Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 2013 Te koputu a te whanga a Toi Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre



PhD candidate, Auckland University of Technology, 2020 – submitting mid 2024
Master of Fine Arts (First Class Honours), University of Auckland, 2016
Certificate in Tertiary Training, Auckland University of Technology
Bachelor of Arts (History) and Senior Prize in History, University of Auckland