New Zealand based photographic artist, Sally Tagg, specialises in portraiture and botanical photography. Born in Devonport, Auckland, Tagg has produced several books, and exhibits her work in NZ and internationally.
Majoring in Art and Design at Auckland Teachers College, Tagg taught photography at Okaihau College in Northland, before travelling to the UK where she worked alongside a prominent London photographer. On her return to NZ, Tagg continued her art practice, exhibiting photo based and mixed media work while also specialising in portraiture for a number of national magazines and book publications. In 1988 Tagg was commissioned by the NZ Listener to photograph U.K. and Australian luminaries. This portrait series included renowned actors and entertainers such as Tom Conti, Bob Hoskins, Peter Carey, Lenny Henry, Julian Clary and others.
Tagg’s portraits featured regularly on the covers of Mana magazine, capturing iconic figures such as Te Arikinui (Maori Queen), Tau Henare, Paki Harrison, (purchased by Te Papa in 2005) Cliff Curtis, and Keisha Castle-Hughes. In 1993 Tagg produced a large format portrait calendar celebrating the centenary of Women’s Suffrage in NZ. The women featured included, Dame Catherine Tizard, Dame Miraka Szarszy, and Marilyn Waring.
Her early portrait work used classical techniques such as toning and hand colouring of black and white photographs. Tagg added to her collections with private photo shoots throughout NZ capturing unique images of iconic kiwis. These collaborative portraits were often very personal and many have never been seen before. These include the likes of Barry Crump, Bruno Lawrence and Keri Hulme. In 1998 Tagg combined her talents with renowned author, Witi Ihimaera to produce a photographic portrait book ‘On Top Down Under’. These portraits also featured in an exhibition at the Aotea Centre in 1998.
In 2009 Tagg was a visiting artist at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Her time spent at the gardens, collecting and photographing plant material, resulted in a book, ‘Seasons: a journey through the NZ garden’. Plant expert, and manager of the Botanic Gardens, Jack Hobbs, wrote this collaborative work. The plant mandalas, created at the Botanical Gardens, lead to a series of exhibitions, including a significant solo show at the S.O.C.A gallery in 2008 titled, ‘Global Garden’
Tagg has also produced a number of sculptural works; these have featured at the Sydney Botanical Gardens, NZ Sculpture Onshore, Brick Bay, and the Connells Bay Sculpture Trail on Waiheki. Tagg continues to work on private commissions including several outdoor works for Kevin Roberts (Saatchi and Saatchi) and working with a San Francisco based art collector creating intricate botanical works.
Tagg is currently working on a book and exhibition that show cases her portrait work from the last 40 years.