Artists Win Big – $13,000
Artists Win Big With the NZ Art Show – $13,000
The NZ Art Show 2016 awards programme was reinforced when Porirua artist Bruce Mortimer won the $3000 Brendan Foot Signature Piece Art Award with his delicate charcoal drawing ‘Balance 1’ – pictured left. His piece, one of 10 finalists vying for the prize, was voted best-in-show by attendees to the 2016 NZ Art Show held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend June 2 – 6.
Bruce’s win comes in the wake of four art school students receiving the RT Nelson Emerging Artist Awards worth $10,000, bringing the total value awarded by the 2016 NZ Art Show to $13,000.
Bruce has been exhibiting with the NZ Art Show since 2009 and this is the second year in a row that Bruce has been nominated for this award. For him, this win goes a long way towards boosting his confidence.
‘Every period in my path as an artist is punctuated by a crisis of confidence,’ says Bruce’. ‘It goes with the territory. Selling some artworks usually alleviates it in the short term, and having some recognition often confirms at least that the current path has some value. But, winning an award like this is a big step beyond just some recognition, and I’m not sure the thought has fully sunk in yet.’
Bruce has been creating art since he was a child and got his first commission when he was 12 yrs old, a charcoal drawing for a man who contacted him through his art teacher. At the same time, he embarked on photography; his keen interest led him to work with complicated photography equipment and doing his own darkroom work.
He went on to study Science and worked as a Geologist for a while, an occupation that saw him travel the world. In 1995, inspired by artists he had encountered in his travels, he quit his day job to become a full-time artist.
Photography remains his favourite medium but he also works with charcoal, graphite, pastels, acrylics and oils and is currently exploring three-dimensional work and more conceptual pieces.
This win comes at an opportune time as Bruce had booked an overseas trip for July: the award will go towards research for his next art projects and he is hoping to arrange an international exhibition.
‘The award is invaluable to me,’ says Bruce, ‘as it broadens and maintains the influence on my subject matter and style.’
Earlier this year, Lower Hutt car dealership Brendan Foot Supersite, who has been sponsoring the show since 2009, decided to increase their commitment to the show by sponsoring this award.
Other NZ Art Show award recipients were the four art students who each receives $2,500 as part of the RT Nelson Emerging Artist Awards.
They are: Harry Culy from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington; Donna Marie Patterson from University of Canterbury, Ilam School of Art, Christchurch; Tyler Jackson from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, Wellington; Tessa Ma’auga from Toioho ki Apiti – Maori Visual Arts, Massey University, Palmerston North
The recipients were presented with their awards at a ceremony at the NZ Art Show and as each artist received their award, they explained the history of their a
rtworks to the attending audience.
The 2016 NZ Art Show was the most successful to date with record attendances and record sales. More information about this year’s show can be found on the show’s website here.