Rachel Hope Allan

As a darkroom alchemist, an appographer, a collector and a purveyor of snippets of light, I engage with different modes of image production while acknowledging and subverting their associated values. My complicated relationship with photography has had me hiding from mountain lions, X-raying New Zealand’s most critically endangered native wildlife and developing tintypes in the basements of historic houses. I have transformed myself into a knitted toy, blown up Rescue Annie Dolls and turned men into birds.

My wide-ranging practice is embedded within a contemporary dialogue that examines the ritualistic act of photography in itself, and extends from first generation, traditional, darkroom-based processes through to digital and hybridised liquid photography. I am fascinated by the notions of the authentic and the replicant; my work incessantly scratches at the surface of reality and investigates the notion of loss and fetishisation of objects, animals, and process.

Rachel Hope Allan is an artist, educator and writer from New Zealand currently based in Ōtepoti | Dunedin. She received an MFA with Distinction (2013) from the Dunedin School of Art, where she is now a principal lecturer and studio coordinator in photography. Rachel exhibits nationally and internationally most recently at The Auckland Festival of Photography in 2021.


2022 Volume 1

2022 Volume 2

2022 Volume 3


2022 Essays by Takashi Shogimen, Federico Freschi, Lucian Howard, and Rachel Hope Allan