FILMMAKER: RESEARCH, WRITING, PRODUCING, DIRECTING, PHOTOGRAPHY
Alexandra Porter graduated Ilam School of Fine Arts, UC with a MFA (Film) in 2012. As a Fine Arts filmmaker she enjoys weaving autobiographical facts and fictions into lyrical, cinematic compositions with narrative montage. Her projects are influenced by primitive cinema, the 1930s General Post Office films of New Zealand artist and icon, Len Lye, the 1970s short films of English auteur Peter Greenaway and an on-going meditation with life.
Porter is presently supporting UK based production company Tongue Tied Films with archival research for early development of a New Zealand based feature documentary funded by the New Zealand Film Commission.
Local film collaborations include working with South Island based DOP, John Chrisstoffels on her short films, Super8man (2005) and A Sense of Place (2009) funded by the Creative NZ Innovation Production Fund, and MFA Film submission, N or Nor W; study of a Canterbury wind (2011).
Porter assisted Chrisstoffels with his PhD moving-image installations and final submission, titled Ritornello, 2018 (16mm B&W film) exhibited online by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetū in 2020, in a group show, 'Anaerobic Video' on Masons Screen, Wellington and in the Christchurch Arts Centre 2022.
Porter Pictures produced Chrisstoffels’ independent New Zealand debut feature documentary, Building Bridges: Bill Youren’s Vision of Peace (2022) which screened at the NZIFF and co-produced Christchurch based artist and Writer/Director, Ed Lust's New Zealand Film Commission Fresh Short titled, Fling (2019).
Porter’s montage-photographs and installations have been exhibited in local galleries Artbox, Next Gallery and City Art Depot; the (former) Film Archive, Wellington; and the Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin.
She has enjoyed collaborating with New Zealand artist, Julia Holden, on archival sound acquisition and production, producing a series of archival soundscapes for Holden’s Lyttelton walking tour exhibition made in partnership with Lyttelton and Canterbury Museums, Lyttelton Redux (2016-17).
In response to Holden’s portrait show, Her Indoors (Sergeant Gallery, Wanganui (2019) Porter created an audio montage, A Meditation on Domesticity, and was one of Holden’s artist-subjects in the collective shows It’s like now (2014) and I’m Your Fan (2016).
ARCHIVIST: RESEARCH, CATALOGUING, ARCHIVAL ADMIN. & AUDIO CONSERVATION
Porter provides archival audio transcription services to the Len Lye Centre/Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand to assist making the collection more accessible to the public and programmers for research and development.
For twelve years Porter worked as an Audio Archivist at Radio New Zealand’s Sound Archives/Ngā Taonga Kōrero and as Client Access Liaison for Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the New Zealand Archive of Film, Television & Sound. She has developed 'an ear' for archival audio and gained broad experience in collection handling, research, cataloguing, customer service, administration and audio editing.
Contributions to the audio-visual archive blog, The Gauge include items sourced from and inspired by recordings held in the audio collection. Tactile open reel tape boxes or a radio announcer's tone of voice reflective of a specific era are examples of recurring influences that feature in Porter's still- and moving-image art practices.
Porter is well experienced in Copyright and Kaitiaki clearances, Licensing Agreements, Invoicing (Xero), pan-archival liaising, research and supply of content to broadcasters, galleries, libraries and museums for exhibition purpose within deadlines. She regularly assisted whānau, hapū and iwi with content discovery, and maintains a good understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Nearly ten years of part-time office administration with wine and olive oil producer Bellbird Spring served to sharpen Porter’s organisational abilities and introduced her to general office procedures within a business environment. This small, independent, family-run company required much self-direction, and a conscientious and flexible aptitude.
Porter has been a member of Naval Point Yacht Club and seasonally crewed on, and kayaked around Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour since 2018. She was accepted as a Tuia 250 trainee onboard the waka hourua replica, Haunui in December 2019. Apart from being a general fan of connecting with nature she is a keen Scrabble player, loves to read, watch movies and listen to local indie music.
Born in Assam, India and raised in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the UK, Porter settled in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1993. She currently lives beside the Ōpāwaho Heathcote river in St Martins, Ōtautahi Christchurch with her son Elijah of Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu descent. All sources of whānau and friendships, work and play, fuel and inform her past, present and future art making practices.