$10,000 Awarded to Four NZ Art Students
The NZ Art Show has selected four artists to receive $2,500 each in this year’s RT Nelson Emerging Artist Awards. The recipients were participants in Emergent, a special initiative in the NZ Art Show dedicated to artists studying visual art at degree and/or diploma level at a recognised tertiary art school in New Zealand, or recent graduates.
The four award recipients are:
• Sculptor Amy Donnell, abstract artist Bonco and photographer Niki Hill, graduates of Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University; and photographer Michael Mahne Lamb, graduate of College of Creative Arts, Massey University.
In total there were 22 finalists for these awards and they all exhibited a small body of their art at the 2018 NZ Art Show held at the TSB Arena in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Art dealer and collector, Mal Brow, was one of the judges.
‘It’s encouraging to see New Zealand’s art schools represented by a comprehensive and well-balanced cross section of media,’ says Brow. ‘The Emergent project is a great initiative: it brings together a significant body of New Zealand’s art students together in one place, providing Kiwis a glimpse of the talent emerging from our art schools.’
Carla Russell, the show’s Executive Director is delighted at the results and sees the Emergent project as the perfect platform to encourage art students to seek significant exposure.
‘There were around 10,000 attendees to the show over the course of the weekend and experienced some outstanding examples of emerging talent, says Russell. ‘And even though only four artists were awarded, the remaining artists are also winners in our eyes.’
Established in 2012, the awards recognise and encourage emerging artists and the role of New Zealand’s art schools. These awards are the result of the generosity of the award’s sponsor, Wellington businessman and philanthropist Richard Nelson.
Sculptor Amy Donnell, Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University.
Year of graduation: 2016
Main Tutor: Michael Parekowhai
Amy is a recent graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, a Registered Nurse and a new mother of one. She has an interest in the concept of Re-enchantment and perceptual shifts as well as the steel construction process.
‘The upper plane is another level of vision, which is rarely viewed in haste. We notice the sky when we are drawn to it by cloud formations, planes, and the stars’.
In her series “Sky Crystals” Amy’s geometric steel structures suspended from the ceiling, cause the viewer to look upwards to examine it and explore different viewing angles to see different shapes and capture their imagination. The use of cylindrical steel rods creates three-dimensional line drawings that define the space and project shadows.
The multiple ‘crystals’ make up one mass, and they reference the way clouds are made up of multiple water crystals reflecting light. Amy’s process with steel refers to a sense of growing and expanding bond by bond; joining steel rods together as a form of three-dimensional mark making, each new piece responding under her direction to the previous piece. Amy says she continues to be fascinated by forms found in nature and bringing a sense of the wonder that I see especially now being a new mother, I am learning about the wonder of how things change over time
Bonco, Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University.
Year of graduation: 2018
Main Tutor: Simon Ingram
Niki Hill – MFA, BFA (Hons), Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University.
Year of graduation: 2018
Main Tutor: Megan Jenkinson
Niki Hill studied at Elam School of Fine Arts from 2005 to 2008 graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art, BFA(Hons) degree in 2009. In 2016, she returned to Elam to study for a Masters of Fine Art degree at Elam, graduating in May 2018.
Niki created a suite of photographic portraits and abstract landscapes: the landscapes function as both metaphor and visual counterpoint to the images with figures. The figures and their poses, represent the awkward on-going struggle against ableism; the societal barriers that manifest in the lives of people with disabilities and their families (Ableism is the discrimination and marginalisation of people with disabilities in favour of the able-bodied of society). Photographs of landscape details have been projected over a body shrouded in a stretch fabric, set against a black background. The resulting images conjure alienated beings and dark atmospheres. These portraits and abstract landscapes visualise the otherworldliness and chaotic nature of life in the metaphorical disability landscape.
Michael Mahne Lamb, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington.
Year of graduation: 2015
Main Tutor: Caroline McQuarrie
In 2017, Michael was a finalist of NZ Photobook of the Year.
The 2018 NZ Art Show took place from June 1 – 4 in the TSB Bank Arena, Queens Wharf on the Wellington waterfront, with the Show’s opening Gala Evening held on Thursday, May 31.