Ben Reid, Thomas Hancock, Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod

Ben Reid Thomas Hancock Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod

Showing 24th May 2023 - 11th June 2023

Exhibition Information

Ben Reid, Thomas Hancock, Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod - Ben Reid Thomas Hancock Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod

Ben Reid 


Ben Reid is a contemporary printmaker represented by galleries throughout Aotearoa. Majoring in printmaking at Ara School of Art and Design and graduating in 2005, Reid belongs to a line of prominent printmakers historically associated with Ara.  Following his graduation, Reid was assistant printmaker to master printmaker Marian Maguire, acknowledged nationally and internationally for her lithographs and prints.  

Specialising in dry point and relief printmaking, Reid’s prints are often political, related to New Zealand’s flora, fauna and native species, the detail of various species and their vulnerability to disease and introduced predators are an important subject.  Reid’s practice is post-colonial, deconstructing assumed certainties about Western culture, a revisionist approach that he shares with other significant contemporary artists.  Reid’s critique of the vulnerability of existing ecosystems in the 21st century is impossible to dismiss, his prints directing the predicament of native species and their circumstances and possibilities of their resolution back at us.   

 Dr. Warren Feeney


Thomas Hancock


Thomas Hancock was born in the Hutt Valley. After completing his MFA in Painting at  Ilam School of Fine Arts in 2016, he moved to Melbourne, furthering his studio practice as well as foraying into mural painting. Working predominantly in the still-life genre, his work combines elements of sculpture, product photography, modern and classical painting to raise questions around how painting can transform and elevate a subject to something greater than the sum of its parts. 

‘Through various bodies of work I have placed limits on myself, concentrating on a single type of object at a time, such as liquor bottles, or op-shop bric-a-brac. The objects I choose have always been a means to explore visually different colours, forms and textures. Photography allows me to capture the objects from various viewpoints, with different lighting effects, creating a subject that is dynamic and intriguing to me as a painter, as well as a viewer. In this body of work my subjects are small-scale hand-made sculptures. Sometimes they will begin from a drawing, other times simply from playing around with the materials. Photography again allows me to capture the subject at different stages and from different angles, giving me a range of images to choose from for the final paintings. Working without a preconceived design in mind I open myself up to chance during the making process. Imperfections help to add to the realism of the work, reinforcing its presence in the world. I work within a limited colour pallet for each work, exploring the ways they enhance the subject and the mood they can create. The paintings straddle a line between figurative painting and abstraction, the subject is essentially something abstract painted figuratively.’

In 2020 Thomas moved back to New Zealand to Otepoti, Dunedin where he currently works out of his studio in the iconic King Edwards Court Building, continuing his studio practice and completing various mural projects around the city. 

Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod

We She


I am a  5th Generation New Zealander of French+ Scottish descent and a Portrait Artist of Aotearoa, New Zealand. My central concerns are representing women of Mana in Aotearoa through Portraiture, national identity and belonging within the collective of Us/We and the individual She/Her. By paying homage to women of standing and strength in our cultural, political and arts sector, both historically and current; I empower and freshly reinterpret the New Zealand Femme. Following in the steps of ‘The Group’ Evelyn Page and Rita Angus started, I intend to keep up the challenge and highlight the tension and disparity between the failed, imagined ideals of past romanticisms in Portraiture in Aotearoa and what is presently real.

To me, Portraiture is deeply personal, an emotionally resonant and connective experience; it’s not a passive thing. When you see a portrait painting, it’s like slowly and intimately meeting another person. My vision is to paint the essence of the woman; the presence of her strength that is unique to her and also, to the We/Us-National Identity of Women of Aotearoa. Authentically complex, psychologically and physically conceptualised women; who become performative visions that I feel see and hear – that they may not see in themselves. 

I want the viewer to feel familiar but challenged, constantly finding fresh interpretations that surprise, resulting in a true grit, unapologetic ‘Head on Gaze’ of women of Aotearoa – ‘Femmes de Force’.


Each Portrait begins with a contemporary photographic ‘sitting’ and then through intensive personal research, I represent the sitter as a ‘Femme de Force’. This constitutes the sitters life lived; using genealogical and personal symbolism, present tensions, a personalised palette/Aura and a strength and spirit reflected in the pose with the gaze met head-on.  As Justin Paton so eloquently put it ”when we look at a portrait we’re seeing the a painted ghost of someone who’s no longer in the room” and one of the best reasons to paint a portrait, often overlooked, is they need to be remembered. 

The processes and materials used consist of a transparent gesso; loosely painted drawing in of the figure with background compositional structures and symbolism. Using Oil on raw reverse stretched Belgian Linen- painted gesturally at first, I then move in a more considered slower way, utilizing light, form and shadow, resonance and strength;  refining and building the emotional surface of the linen.


Full Exhibition Works

Ben Reid, Thomas Hancock, Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod - Ben Reid Thomas Hancock Jacqueline Spencer-Macleod

Artwork Sold Within Last Six Weeks
Artwork is on Hold - Enquires Welcome
Newsletter Sign Up