Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whanganui Artists Take Treble

Whanganui Artists Take Treble

Whanganui artists were a winning treble at the 2011 Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Awards where artists were showing from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Whanganui, Wairarapa, Wellington, and Otago.

In a strong local line up amongst the 48 artists on display, Pam Sears won through with her mixed media sculpture Nappy Brain to take the Best in Show Award. Alice Kim with her drawing Mind Map and Bernie Steyn with his painting Sentinel claimed Certificates of Merit.

The exhibition is showing until October 2 at the Wanganui Community Arts Centre, and was opened on Friday evening by Esther Topfer, secretary of conveners The Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award Trust. Earlier in the afternoon, judges Neil Buddle and Andrea Du Chatenier both of Whanganui, and Dane Pace of Auckland attended a preview session to choose the prize winners.

Ms Du Chatenier said that Ms Sears’ work was chosen Best in Show for the use of media, the concept of a new mother and her baby adjusting hormonally and emotionally to literal life changes, and the way she realised her work as a skull presented on a plinth to have a certain presence in the room.

Mr Buddle said that judges were overwhelmed by the intensity of Ms Kim’s Mind Map in scale, colour, patterns, and rhythms of the work. Ms Kim’s Certificate of Merit was presented to her son James in her absence. He said that she would be very pleased with the acknowledgement of her work by the judges and would like to thank the other artists for participating in the Whanganui National.

Bernie Steyn was also absent at the presentation. Mr Pace said that judges were impressed with the capturing of the dynamic changing of light in his landscape under a sunrise. The colour theory was well considered, a deep green and ochre of the land to launch a vibrancy of white and orange in the sky.

Ms Topfer said that the trust is pleased with the growing uptake nationally for the show with this exhibition being the biggest yet with forty-eight artists with five trustees and judges exhibiting as well.

“The Whanganui National is about artists from across New Zealand competing and aiming for their personal bests each time. It is good for us as artists and audience that we see the best from other artists, because we get new standards to reference from and we see what is happening elsewhere,” she says.

Ms Topfer said that it is a trust policy that the judges show to exhibit their credentials, and, the trustees as practicing artists also show to encourage fine arts as a path to youth and young people to engage the community

Ms Topfer said that the Whanganui National Art Exhibition and Award Trust is thankful for all its volunteers in the exhibition that takes over six months to implement. All that work is realised into a week of receipt and handling of works, and the last few hours of hanging the works before the judging session and opening.

“We hope that all our volunteers have gained some experience and insight into exhibition production. However, without them participating freely, we could not have done this in those months and few final hours. They play a big part in the Whanganui National when it matters,” she says.

Ms Topfer said that the trust is grateful for the support of their sponsors for their aid in bringing New Zealand art to Whanganui. “Our thanks to Creative Communities NZ Wanganui District, The Lion Foundation, Optiv101 Fine Arts and Multimedia Studios, Pub Charity, The United Lodge of Wanganui No. 468, The Trusts Charitable Foundation, and Mickey’s Superliquor”.