The work of Croatian born, Melbourne based Sanja Pahoki continually hovers between melancholy and angst. Pahoki utilises everyday mediums and materials such as photography, neon, video and text to manifest her nuanced observations from everyday life. Existential issues such as the nature of self and the role of anxiety are recurring themes, while individual works constitute elements of a larger self-portrait, documenting and archiving Pahoki’s relationship to those important to her – most particularly to her family. She embraces the sentimental as well as the domestic in her practice, however, as the autobiographical is the initial inspiration for much work, Pahoki often engages humour or ambivalence as a strategy to direct attention away from the personal and toward shared universal concerns. Pahoki’s work records and explores the passing of time; in highlighting the disjuncture between nature and artifice, and the gulf between memory and reality, it seeks to connects us to this life and what gives it meaning.


SANJA PAHOKI is a current PhD candidate at Monash University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy) from the University of Melbourne and completed a BFA (Honours) in 2000 and an MFA in 2006 both at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally including at Heide Museum of Art, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney and Queensland University of Technology and internationally in Tokyo, Shanghai, Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Rotterdam. Pahoki was a committee member of Kings Artist Run Initiative and a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary. In 2008 and 2012, she attended a studio residency in Reykjavik, Iceland and undertook an Australia Council residency in Helsinki in 2010.


Artist Bio