"This is a total honour for me. It is more exciting than tearing round the race track at 270kph on my Ducati. This money gives me total freedom for a future project – maybe to work bigger or make something more radical."

Alex Monteith is a new media artist and academic whose work incorporates sound, performance, photography, film, video, kinetic and network components, while her practice explores the politics, freedoms and limits of consumer technology. Her large-scale works involve collaboration with specialists from outside the art-world including sheep-dog triallists and New Zealand racing motor-cyclists.

Born in Belfast, Alex grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to New Zealand in the late 1980s. She majored in photography at Elam School of Fine Arts (Auckland) for her Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Intermedia and the time-based arts for her Master of Fine Arts, and researched experimental film, video and performance for her Doctorate in Fine Arts.

Since 2000 Alex has taught in a new media/timebased or sculptural context at tertiary level and she currently lectures at the Elam Schoolof Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. Over this time she has also regularly exhibited in art galleries, and film festivals, and been on television and radio both nationally and internationally.

Described as one of New Zealand’s most prolific experimental filmmakers, Alex’s technically sophisticated installations have been shown in galleries throughout New Zealand, including the Auckland Art Gallery Toi oTamaki, Artspace, St Paul St Gallery, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Physics Room. Her screen-based works have been programmed into new media shows, touring programmes and international film festivals including: Recontres Internationales, Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Raindance film festival, London, and Multimedia Art Asia Pacific in Brisbane. Her work was included in Scratching the Surface: Experiments in New Zealand Animation after Len Lye, which toured venues including the Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Los Angeles Film Forum.

Her work The Definitive Quantifier won a silver award for experimental animation at the Worldfest Houston 2000 and in 2004 Pause the Rising Tide won the overall festival prize at the International Surrealist Film Festival in Connecticut, New York. 

She received an Arts Foundation New Generation Award in 2008.  The Award enabled the purchase of key equipment contributing to a lot of the work Alex now does.

Her short films, of which there are many, owe something to Bunuel, the early Surrealist film-makers and to Len Lye, while at the same time engaging with the history of animation and the new possibilities offered by digital media. As well as making shorter experimental films, she has also produced a 90 minute experimental documentary in the film essay genre on the transitional period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Recent projects involve collaborative performance events for projections using multiple screens in public gallery spaces.

Alex is also a competitive surfer. She was the Irish National Women’s champ in 2001, competed in both the New Zealand national circuit and the European championships in 2001, and the world championships in Durban in 2002.

In 2010 Alex exhibited in Unnerved: The New Zealand Project at the Modern Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia;   the 4th Auckland Triennial and she has a major survey exhibition Accelerated Geographies planned, which takes over the entire Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (25 September). 

Alex is a finalist in the 2010 Walters Prize.

Alex lives in Auckland where she is a Lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts, Aucland University.


Video artist Alex Monteith does fast, does slow, and is a finalist for this year’s [2010] Walters Prize.


This video work by Alex Monteith has been selected as a finalist for the 2010 Walters Prize.
Alex Monteith discusses her life, growing up in Ireland and New Zealand, with Danny Butt
Alex Monteith, in discussion with Danny Butt, after receiving her New Generation Award
  Born Belfast, Northern Ireland
Moved to Palmerston North, New Zealand with family
BFA, Photography, Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland;Red Winged awarded Duchamp Award, International Surrealist Film Festival, USA;Federation of University Women Jubilee Scholarship
Sasakawa Young Leaders Scholarship;Worldfest Houston Experimental Film and Video Awards, Houston, US: Animation, The Definitive Quantifier (director, editor, producer), Silver;University of Auckland Masters Honours Scholarship;Joe Raynes Scholarship in Fine Arts, (Elam)
   MFA (1st Hons) Elam School of Fine Arts, Intermedia, University of Auckland;Irish National Women's Surfing Champ;        Represented Ireland in the European Surfing Championships
University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
Represented Ireland inthe ISA world surfing games in Durban, South Africa
Pause the Rising Tide International Surrealist Film Festival, Stanford, USA., Breton Award winner.
  DocFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
  Arts Foundation New Generation Award;Cloudland, Composition for farmer, International Symposium for the Electronic Arts, Substation, Singapore;Need for Speed, solo show, St Pauls St Gallery, Auckland;You Are Here, Looping Manoeuvre, Artspace, Auckland
   SCANZ, Composition for Farmer, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
Exhibited - Unnerved: The New Zealand Project at Modern Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia;Exhibited - 4th Auckland Triennial; Finalist in Walter's Prize;Major survey exhibition Accelerated Geographies takes over the entire Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth