RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award recipient: Michael Mahne Lamb

Four Art School Graduates won the 2018 RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award and in this Artist Profile series, we take a closer look at one of them, Wellington photographer Michael Mahne Lamb.

Michael was also a finalist for the People’s Choice Art Award sponsored by Brendan Foot Supersite, with his photographic print Untitled, from Complements (2015-2017)


Untitled, from Complements (2015-2017)

Finalist for the People’s Choice Art Award, Untitled, from Complements (2015-2017)


Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Design (Honours) from the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington in 2015 and in 2017, he was a finalist of NZ Photobook of the Year.

His recent photographic work is inspired by the work of perceptual psychologist Rudolf Arnheim, and is an exploration of the psychology of visual thinking. In particular, how images can stimulate the mind through the activation of amodal perception. Recognising this concept in daily observations by recording perceptual incompletions that are present—or utilising the subtractive nature of the photographic medium to de-contextualise the frame—Lamb’s work is intended to challenge and subsequently satisfy each viewer uniquely by calling to the individual’s library of visual concepts gathered through experience.

He exhibited three photographs in this year’s show: carefully composed images that focus on form, colour and texture to capture an abstract essence of everyday scenes and items, converting the mundane into sleek and bold graphic representations. They made a huge impression – they all sold.

This is the first time that Michael has exhibited at the NZ Art Show: we certainly hope to see more of Michael’s photography in future shows.


Michael Mahne Lamb, with one of his photographs from the Complements series, at the 2018 NZ Art Show.

Untitled, from Complements (2015-2017)

Untitled, from Complements (2015-2017)




The NZ Art Show wishes to thank the following for their support: