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Ann Shelton

Double take

This diptych depicts what appears to be an innocent path. In fact it is the site of the infamous 1954 Parker/Hulme murder, when a mother was murdered by her daughter and her daughter’s best friend. This crime, which shocked the country, was dramatised in the Academy award-nominated 1994 film Heavenly Creatures.

In the two parts of this photograph, two paths lead away from each another, perhaps representing the separation of history and myth. Or perhaps the double image intensifies an otherwise bland scene of a crime long since gone cold.

Since 2001, ‘doubling’ an image has become one of Ann Shelton’s trademark techniques. This scene is one of her earliest and best known doubles.

Watch an interview with Ann Shelton

This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, June 2011.

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