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Award winners announced for Molly Morpeth Canaday Award Painting and Drawing 2021

They Laughed, I Cried' by Hannah Ireland - photo credit: Mike Kelly
They Laughed, I Cried' by Hannah Ireland
'Aohanga' by Heidi Brickell
'Baka IV' by Claudia Jowitt
'Three Übermensch of Tongpop' by Telly Tuita
'Poems for Ephemeral Men' by Wesley John Fourie
Walking Drawings (Lockdown edges)' by Rebecca Steedman
'Notes' by Akiko Diegel
'I am of this land' by Tessa Williams.
'Painted Whatu' by Aimee Ratana and Maraea Timutimu.
'I Cant Think of Anything Id Rather Eat' by Nicola Bennett
winners announced for

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Hannah Ireland has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust Major Award. The $10,000 prize was awarded for Ireland’swork They Laughed, I Cried, a work that reflects the act of drawing from the perspective of having a body, rather than observing one.  

Guest Judge Karl Chitham chose Ireland’s winning work from a pool of 78 finalists. Summarising his response to the work, Chitham says this work was captivating from the outset. “Some might think it grotesque or lacking the technical refinement to be the recipient of this major award, but it is the urgency and emotion of the making and the evocative process of the viewing that makes this work so memorable”, he explains. “ This dark-eyed figure seems to be contradicted by their flowery dress and bold jewellery choice, like a morose housebound prison, or alternatively, they might be looking into the home they wish they had through a rain washed window pane.       

Ten other outstanding works were also recognised with awards. I am of this land by Tessa Williams the winner of the $5,00 Gordon Harris Merit Award. Notes by Akiko Diegel the winner of the $500 4 Art Sake Gallery Merit Award. The winner of Whakatāne Society of Arts & Crafts & Hon. Anne Tolley Merit Award is I Cant Think of Anything Id Rather Eat by Nicola Bennett. The winner of the Kay & Ross Boreham and Accounting Biz Local Merit Award is Painted Whatu by Aimee Ratana and Maraea Timutimu. Walking Drawings (Lockdown edges) by Rebecca Steedman received $1,000 Robinson Law Whakatāne Highly Commended Award.

The winner of the $2,500 Craigs Investment Partners Youth Award is Poems for Ephemeral Men by Wesley John Fourie. Robinson Law Highly Commended Award and The joint winners of the $3,000 Arts Whakatāne Award are Three Übermensch of Tongpop by Telly Tuita and Baka IV by Claudia Jowitt. Aohanga by Heidi Brickell received $4,000 Akel Award.

All of the finalist works selected for the Award exhibition can be viewed at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre, until the 4th April. Visitors are encouraged to vote for the work they think should receive the People’s Choice Merit Award ($500) before the exhibition ends. An exciting programme of free public events also runs alongside the exhibition; all are welcome to attend.

Exhibition partners Arts Whakatāne and Whakatāne District Council wish to congratulate all winners and finalists, and acknowledge the support of sponsors and staff members who have made the 2021 MMCA – Painting and Drawing possible.

  • Whakatāne Society of Arts & Crafts & Hon. Anne Tolley Merit Award is 'I Cant Think of Anything Id Rather Eat' by Nicola Bennett.
  • Kay & Ross Boreham and Accounting Biz Local Merit Award is 'Painted Whatu' by Aimee Ratana and Maraea Timutimu.
  • Gordon Harris Merit Award is 'I am of this land' by Tessa Williams.
  • 4Art Sake Gallery Merit Award is 'Notes' by Akiko Diegel
  • Robinson Law Whakatāne Highly Commended Award is 'Walking Drawings (Lockdown edges)' by Rebecca Steedman
  • Craigs Investment partners Youth Award is 'Poems for Ephemeral Men' by Wesley John Fourie.
  • Arts Whakatāne Award are 'Three Übermensch of Tongpop by Telly Tuita' and 'Baka IV' by Claudia Jowitt.
  • Akel Award is 'Aohanga' by Heidi Brickell.
  • The winner of the Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust Major Award is 'They Laughed, I Cried' by Hannah Ireland.
Further information: 

The organisers of this year’s Molly Morpeth Canaday Award Painting and Drawing, Arts Whakatāne and Whakatāne District Council, are delighted to present this major national exhibition.

Our appreciation goes to the judges – Guest judge, Karl Chitham, and preliminary judges Francis McWhannell, Natasha Matila-Smith and Hanahiva Rose – for their commitment to supporting artists and bringing increasingly innovative art to our community. Special thanks also go to our supporting sponsors, volunteers and the organising teams. Their collective generosity has contributed to the current status of the award as one of the most recognised art events in New Zealand.

This exhibition features works by artists from Aotearoa, selected from a record-breaking number of entries by three independent Preliminary Judges. Winners have been selected by Guest Judge, Karl Chitham. Those that were selected present an exciting cross-section of contemporary works that extend beyond the practice of painting and drawing.

This year, our vision is to encourage and celebrate the development of painting and drawing on a national level and reward artists who create outstanding works. The exhibition partners Arts Whakatāne and the Whakatāne District Council are heartened by the strength of commitment this demonstrates to painting and drawing, as an arts discipline, and to the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award.

Contact details: 
mollymorpethcanadayaward@gmail.com

Written by

Molly Morpeth Canaday Award

15 Feb 2021

The Molly Morpeth Canaday Award is one of New Zealand's longest running and most vibrant national contemporary art awards.