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Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award 2014 Award Winner announced

29 October 2014 at 11:46:41 am

Lush by Christchurch artist Janna Van Hasselt has won this year’s $5000 Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award.

Judge Ian Jervis, Senior Lecturer Visual Arts, AUT University, announced the winner of the national Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery on Saturday, 25 October at an evening function in association with Kennedy Point Vineyard and Marino Ridge Luxury Accommodation.

The work is a Lithograph on inkjet print.

Janna van Hasselt Lush 1

Waiheke’s Hugo Lindsay won the $1000 Zinni Douglas Merit Award for his work titled Italic – a work of graphite and nickel based pigment on calico. Gavin Jones was awarded the $500 Michael Evans Award sponsored by The Skin Institute for his Untitled work, in acrylic and vinyl tempera on stretched canvas.

Now in its nineth year, the Walker & Hall, an annual national art award established to promote excellence in art attracted 105 entries this year. “The task of whittling these down to 29 for the exhibition was a challenging one” said Ian Jervis.

“We are delighted to once again host this national art award thanks to the generosity of Walker & Hall,” Waiheke Community Art Gallery director Linda Chalmers said.

“This award exhibition our most popular annual exhibition because people get to see some of New Zealand’s outstanding up and coming artists exhibiting works that are also for sale.” Many of our Award Winners have gone on to win other major awards and become high profile New Zealand artists.

As well as the Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award two other exhibitions opened at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery during Labour Weekend –Whangarei artist Susan Edge presented her exhibition Once Around the Island, and Wanganui artist David Traub presented After 8, new works in glass inspired by his eight heros of American abstract painting.

Finalists chosen for this year’s Walker & Hall Waiheke Award were:

Janna Van Hasselt
Sam Montgomery
Anthony Densham
Liam Davidson
Katie Trinkle Legge
Jamie Chapman
Adrian Jackman
Alice King
Ellen Johansen & Michael Walker
Sandy Son
Ilya Volykhine
Judi Bagust
Grant Whibley
Frances Hansen
Hugo Lindsay
Anne-Sophy Adelys
Anah Dunsheath
Bill Riley
Sena Park
Emma McLellan
Sue Reidy
Gary Roberts
Gavin Jones
Jonathan Organ
Stefan Roberts
Natalie Tozer
Sheree Stone
John Pusateri
Gail de Jong

Here are the selector's comments regarding the winning works:

Winner: Janna van Hasselt

The extravagant forms and exuberant use of colour in this work are the result of joyous image-making. By presenting extraordinary visual forms in a sort of diorama, and by using a medley of media and process, the artist complicates and disrupts our habitual preoccupation with trying to work out what it is that we are looking at – trying to relate the visual forms to something already seen in the world outside the work of art. Here we are invited to stop worrying about this, and to join in with the playful exuberance of image-making that is not enslaved to the purposes of illustration, or telling stories. Having freed herself from the demands for representing (reiterating) the world in familiar terms (what you see is what you already know), the artist can concentrate on creating new visual experiences. It doesn’t matter where the white plastic or green wire came from, nor what practical use they might once have had. What matters is how we encounter and experience them now – as colour, plasticity, the flow of form, hardness and bendiness, lyricism and rhythm, dissonances and harmony; all in playful interaction. This is image making that celebrates its freedom from utility, and luxuriates in our sensory capacity. 

Zinni Douglas Award

Winner: Hugo Lindsay

This beautifully crafted work balances material, visual, sensual, and conceptual concerns. From an apparent visual simplicity, complex questions emerge about where the image begins and ends, not only in terms of how the shape drawn on the canvas surface relates to the nature of the work as an object sitting on a wall, but also in terms of the ideas that continue to unfold as we spend time looking at the work and thinking about it. In particular the work plays with our perception of how a shape takes on implications of mass and (three-dimensional) form when its colour appears leaden, and when it appears to droop slightly as if in response to gravity, and when it is displaced from correspondence with the shape of its substrate, and when it starts to reflect the material structure of object on which it sits, and where this objecthood is then reiterated by an actual shadow cast on the wall by the ‘painting’. This is a complex and elegant work that handsomely rewards the time we spend with it.

Michael Evans award for figurative work

Winner: Gavin Jones

This unassuming and engaging work comes out of a painting process where the image is not preconceived, but unfolds in response to the artist’s continual evaluation of what happens as he paints. As the image has emerged in this process we see can that it has formed an horizon, along with colours that have immediately organised into rhythms (zig/zag) that are precursors to figuration – precursors to a higher form of organisation. At the horizon in the middle of the work, the image appears to emerge or be drawn-in (I think of geological process of volcanic production or subduction along a faultline). This is the site figuration’s conception and production – figuration in its most essential state.

The term figuration, as used in contemporary art contexts, generally indicates the spatialised depiction of recognisable objects –not restricted to human or living forms. While this painting does not depict a recognisable object, it does address the emergence of form as a concept and process, and as a ‘destination’ for painting (much in the way that Colin McCahon’s reduced depictions of the horizon between sky and land, and light and darkness, also invoke the emergence of the space in which we live and make art).    

For further information or for images of the finalists please contact: Waiheke Community Art Gallery director Linda Chalmers on 09 372 9907 or email her at director@waihekeartgallery.org.nz