Wallace Art Awards 2014
Roger Mortimer’s work Otago Harbour has received the 2014 Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award.
In his artist statement Mortimer says the coastline around Otago Harbour has been illustrated with images originating from a 14th century manuscript of Dante's ‘Divine Comedy’.
The work was described by judge Linda Tyler “medieval in appearance, yet utterly contemporary in its intent”.
As part of the award Mortimer receives a six month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York.
The 23rd Annual Wallace Art Awards 2014, with prizes amounting to over $195,000, will be opened by Auckland Mayor Len Brown at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Monday 1 September 2014.
This year the Wallace Arts Trust received 524 entries from which 90 entries have been selected as finalists. From the finalists 49 have been chosen for the Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition and the balance is represented in the Salon des Refuses.
The 2014 Awards were judged by prominent art practitioners Andrew Clifford, Andrew McLeod, Peter Panyoczki, Terry Stringer and Linda Tyler – as well as Manulani Aluli-Meyer and Richard Maloy who were joined by Terry Stringer and Linda Tyler for the Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award panel.
The Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award
Otago Harbour, 2014, acrylic ink on canvas, 600 x 650mm
Roger Mortimer receives a 6 month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, USA.
Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award
Telluric Insurgencies I, 2014, graphite and acrylic on commercial mannequin, 1280 x 450 x 450mm
Ruth Watson receives a 3 month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, USA.
The Kaipara Wallace Arts Trust Award
50 cent vs count of fate, 2014, acrylic on rimu, 40 x 20 x 15mm
Glen Hayward receives a 3 month residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland.
The Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award
involute and transmission, 2014, corten steel, 2000 x 3000 x 500mm
David McCracken receives a 3 month residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, USA.
First Runner-up Award
Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris
Verdugos, 2014, winter fruit tree sapling branches, hemp string, copper wire, metal and wood, electric motor, radio, 2000 x 1000 x 2200mm
Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris are awarded $2,500.
Second Runner-up Award
Slider – Black 1, 2014, oil on aluminium panel, 1220 x 800mm
Noel Ivanoff is awarded $2,500.
The Anchor Drags, 2014, ballpoint pen and correction fluid on paper, 1120 x 1550mm
This prize is non-monetary.
The People’s Choice Award, worth $750, will be determined after the touring Travelling Finalists Exhibition has concluded.
About the artists
Roger Mortimer Winner – The Wallace Arts Trust Paramout Award
Roger Mortimer was born in 1956 in Mangakino and attended Rangitoto College on Auckland's North Shore. After an intermediate year for Civil Engineering at Auckland University he went overseas and returned to train as a primary school teacher at North Shore Teachers' College. Two years’ primary teaching was followed by attendance at an Australian drama school where he learned the Jacques Le coq method of psychograma.
Returning to Auckland he worked professionally in the field of counselling and therapy. Following a period of ill health he enrolled at Elam School of Fine Arts in the Te Toi Hou (Maori Arts) Programme in 1995, training under Maori masters Selwyn Muru, Brett Graham and Kura Te Waru Rewiri. After graduation he had his first solo exhibition with Ivan Anthony in 2000 and has since exhibited widely throughout New Zealand. A prolific maker of works on paper, Mortimer delights in combining elements of medieval manuscripts, historical maps, Maori design, and topical contemporary issues in his finely detailed, amusing and thought-provoking works.
From Roger Mortimer’s artist statement
The coastline around Otago Harbour has been illustrated with images originating from a 14th century manuscript of Dante's Divine Comedy. I have been populating the NZ coastline with flotsam and jetsam for a number of years. I seem to be drawn to old documents, maps and manuscripts. The opportunity to visit libraries and museums in Europe or the US would be of interest to me.
Ruth Watson Winner – Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award
Ruth Watson completed her BFA at the University of Canterbury in 1984, followed by a successful period as an exhibiting artist in New Zealand. She was awarded the Olivia Spencer Bower Foundation Award in 1992 and a QEII Arts Council Award in 1993. Pursuing her studies Watson went on to complete a Masters of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts in 1999, and a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra in 2005. Now a senior lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, Watson is the recipient of several major awards including the international Walter W. Ristow Prize in 2005 for an essay on the history of cartography. Watson works in a range of media.
Her practice is informed by her continuing fascination with the history of traditional board games, maps and scientific discovery. In 2005 she completed the largest map of the universe yet created, in conjunction with the Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Watson has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the USA.
From Ruth Watson’s artist statement
Telluric Insurgencies I is a new work made over the last several months, specifically for the Wallace Art Awards. It extends my interest in contemporary cartographies, a field my artwork has engaged with for some time, as well as potential relationships between interior and exterior worlds. Put another way, the work suggests that boundaries between self and environment might not necessarily be as distinct as they are often perceived to be. Although ‘telluric’ means ‘from the earth’, I am also interested in how systems relate/collide/intersect – in this case, the formal distinction between geophysical information and the satellite-derived, false colour overlay.
David McCracken Winner – Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award
David McCracken was born in Auckland in 1963 and began making sculptures in his teens. He began his working life in the boat building and construction industries before his interest in the performing arts led him to a career producing sets and props, while he continued to develop his sculptural practice. At the same time McCracken acquired advanced metal fabrication skills in order to make use of inexpensive waste metal material for sculptural projects.
His first solo exhibition, Fabrications, was held at the McPherson Gallery. In 2001 he was shortlisted for the Wallace Art Awards. McCracken is a frequent exhibitor in outdoor sculpture exhibitions, winning the Telecom People’s Choice Award at headland Sculpture on the Gulf in 2006. He has twice previously been a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards. In 2013 he won the Parsons & Brinckerhoff Award for Excellence in Engineering at headland Sculpture on the Gulf, and the Wallace Arts Trust New Zealand Sculptor Award, which enables a New Zealand sculptor to exhibit at the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi, Sydney, for his work diminish and ascend.
From David McCracken’s artist statement
This work is part of an ongoing body of work and part of a material led practice. My intention is to make a work that contains – in fact is built around a fundamental contradiction – in this case between material, vernacular and form. I have found that this allows viewers to project meaning onto the object in a way that engenders a feeling of surprise and profundity. I have taken the ‘equation’ for formulating this sort of composition from my interest in literary language and phrasing, where an apparently insoluble contradiction can be instinctively explicable and satisfying.
Glen Hayward Winner – Kaipara Wallace Arts Trust Award
Glen Hayward was born in Auckland in 1974. He completed a doctorate in Fine Art at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 2005. A prolific maker and exhibitor, Hayward is known for producing immaculately crafted copies of everyday, mass-produced objects, meticulously carved from wood and cunningly painted so that they appear indistinguishable from the genuine, yet ordinary, object. In this practice of tricking the viewer into a new consciousness of the everyday world Hayward puts a new spin on the ‘found object’ tradition made famous by Marcel Duchamp, where the artist selects banal utilitarian objects and presents them as art to draw attention to the role of aesthetics in our mundane lives.
Hayward has been the recipient of numerous prestigious prizes and residencies. He was the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust winner in 2010, enabling him to work in residence at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland, and Second Runner-up in the Wallace Art Awards in 2012. Other recent residencies have included the McCahon House Residency in 2011 and the Rita Angus Fellowship of Victoria University of Wellington in 2012.
From Glen Hayward’s artist statement
Old houses are littered with dead rats. The living ones I have a dread of, (it is their tails I think), but once they are dead and no longer stinky and it is just their bones, I feel their dignity returns, ’cos we’re all god’s creatures right? I like the idea of it being kind of like a smudge on the wall, this tiny little piece absurdly invested in. I am never sure about the meaning of the objects I present; kind of more interested in some sort of experiential understanding, that locates in the thing in front of you, doesn’t ask you to disappear elsewhere in pursuit of the work.
Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris Winner – First Runner-up Award
Raewyn Turner was born in Hawkes Bay and grew up in Waipawa. She is an accomplished and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist who works at the intersection of art, performance, music, theatre and stage design. Turner describes her work as ‘concerned with cross-sensory perception and the uncharted territories of the senses’. Her career as an international stage lighting designer has included a long stint as lighting director for the iconic Kiwi band Split Enz. She is also an ‘aroma jockey’ providing smell sensations for large scale public performances, and has worked on olfactory research since 1999.
In 2011 she received a Fulbright Travel Grant for an artist residency at Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia. Turner trained initially at Elam School of Fine Art before joining the Split Enz production team. Returning to study after many years of constant touring Turner completed a Master of Art and Design degree at Auckland University of Technology in 2008.
Raewyn Turner frequently collaborates with fellow artist and technologist Brian Harris, who has a background in designing high-tech electronics for use in the film industry. Their collaborative project Downwind won a Trusts Art and Sculpture Award in 2012 and was also exhibited in Sydney at ISEA2013 Resistance is Futile: Ecologies and Technologies in 2013 with the support of Creative New Zealand.
From Raewyn Turner’s and Brian Harris’ artist statement
Verdugos is a kinetic audio sculpture work created from pre-bud saplings wound with copper wire to receive short wave radio signals. The oscillatory searching mechanism slowly drifts through the ether, turning from side to side. As the device searches the ether it tunes across streams of communication. Woven from winter fruit tree sapling branches, hemp string, copper wire, metal, and wood from a backyard tree, the mechanism uses a repurposed cash register motor which drives both the motion and the audio in an ever-changing stream of brief extracts and information. Verdugos is part of a series of works about sensing the atmosphere.
Noel Ivanoff Winner – Second Runner-up Award
Noel Ivanoff was born in Lower Hutt in 1963. He trained initially in Dunedin at Otago Polytechnic School of Art before moving to London in the mid-80s where he undertook postgraduate studies at St Martins School of Art. Returning to New Zealand he completed an MFA at Elam School of Art, University of Auckland in 1999, graduating with First Class Honours. He has taught at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design in Auckland since 1995 and has been Head of the Fine Art Department at the College since 2002. He is particularly interested in curriculum development and has been an external examiner and monitor for a number of tertiary institutions in New Zealand.
Ivanoff has been a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards six times previously. His practice has consistently focused on an investigation of the structures and supports on which paintings are made and presented as well as ongoing dialogue around the three-dimensionality of painting. Works are manufactured in ways that explore the relationship between gesture and control, and how paint can be applied to and removed from a work using utilitarian methods. As a frequent exhibitor Ivanoff has a particular interest in how paintings are transported, and how the means of their transportation can be made into an active visual and conceptual element.
From Noel Ivanoff’s artist statement
The Slider series extends my interest in employing utilitarian methods as a means of making paintings. They are inspired by the process of mixing paint: an action usually reserved for a palette (usually horizontal) prior to the paint being applied onto the painting (usually vertical). To play on this, I execute the paintings horizontally, using squeegees and jigs, in an effort to collapse the distinction between palette and painting, preparation and execution. Slider – Black 1 presents paint plainly as material: a substance spread thin and coagulated on the margins of each movement. In these movements, which both accumulate and erase form, an illusionism emerges that asks the viewer to associate with forms in the real world and consider how a painting can oscillate between substance and image. The paint has been mixed in order to achieve a colour that when thick appears black, but when spread and extended, highlights the colours brought together in its making.
Stephen Ellis Jury Award Winner
Auckland artist and illustrator Stephen Ellis creates extraordinary works on paper using only a ballpoint pen and correction fluid. Complex representational and allegorical images are built up from millions of tiny ballpoint dots in a manner reminiscent of traditional engraving, as minutely and intricately detailed as banknotes. Ellis recently won the 2014 New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award of the Waikato Society of Arts with his work We Asked for Signs. Ellis often references environmental and existential concerns in his works: ‘the painstaking accumulation of large images out of tiny marks speaks to the heroic futility of attempting to repair a damaged planet’, he has said.
From Stephen Ellis’s artist statement
The Anchor Drags is one of a suite of large drawings, called Floating Bodies. The drawings re-present and re-frame found objects, montaged with weather and sea imagery. An interrogation of the Sublime and European Romantic land and seascape in parallel with a preference for the contemplative and the visionary led to the making of large obsessively crafted images of 'domestica' threatened by colossal seas.
An inundated world: it is dusk and in the failing light the shapes and meanings of objects are not quite apprehensible. Between waking and sleep what was safe is safe no longer, and what was familiar is now tainted by dread. While we all see the world’s weather changing and see the images of weather catastrophe with the same horror or schadenfreude as the tiny spectators in a Romantic ‘Deluge’, there are still many who deny the existence of climate change, as the science continues to be contested. Real or not, the psychological weight of climate doom is as oppressive as the threat of nuclear war was to a previous generation.
The Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition will be exhibited at:
Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre: 2 September to 9 November 2014.
Pataka Art + Museum: 29 November 2014 to 8 February 2015.
Wallace Gallery Morrinsville: 25 February to 19 April 2015.
The Salon des Refuses will be exhibited at the Pah Homestead from 2 September to 19 October 2014.
Sir James Wallace commented “The exhibitions of winners and finalists undoubtedly encompass an exciting and challenging diverse range of works from many of New Zealand’s leading artists.”
Art in the Mix, Thursday 18 September 2014, 7.30pm Unique cocktails - Master mixers - All in the name of Art Three master mixologists are designing unique cocktails, inspired by winning artworks from the 23rd Annual Wallace Art Awards 2014.