Celebrating sculpture from Aotearoa

Congratulations to Auckland artists Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole who won the Premier Award

Their artworks Harikoa – Aroā Nukunuku and Paki – He Taonga Tuku Iho, hand carvings embellished with crocheted neon NZ wool – pictured right – won the collaborative artists $15,000.

The winners were announced by judge Lynne Sandri at an awards ceremony at the NZ Art Show on June 2.

Lissy and Rudi have stated that their winnings will contribute to a large project they are working on: Wharenui Harikoa, a whare whakairo, a large-scale carved and crocheted meeting house, with star-spangled pou, telling the story of Matariki.

Harikoa – Aroā Nukunuku and Paki – He Taonga Tuku Iho by Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole

‘Submerge – Ice Melt’ by Di Tocker
‘Submerge – Purple Fall by Di Tocker


Five artists receive $1,000. They are:

  1. Cambridge artist Di Tocker for her works ‘Submerge – Ice Melt’ and ‘Submerge – Purple Fall – cast glass and stainless steel
  2. Georgius Agius from Feilding, for her cast glass pieces ‘The Clusterfuck that Was’
  3. Jane Downes from Little River, Canterbury for her piece Habitat 2, steel, coloured acrylic & LED lights
  4. Otaki artist Neke Moa for he piece ‘The Tohunga and the Atua’, driftwood, birdwings, coal, muka, paint & shells
  5. Christophe Jannin from Auckland, for his piece ‘King Midas, Renunciation on the Pactolus Riverbank’, resin, bronze & gold

In total, 86 artworks by 65 artists were on display, all vying for one of the six awards, in a dynamic exhibition representing a diverse range of media, techniques and subject matter. Judge Lynne Sandri said whittling the finalists down to just six winners was made difficult by the high standard of all the submissions.

‘All the finalists were deserving of an award. It’s hard not to recognise the ingenuity and just sheer hard work that’s gone into the artworks.’

Lynne Sandri, judge, RT Nelson Awards for Sculpture 2022

‘King Midas, Renunciation on the Pactolus Riverbank’ by Christophe Jannin
‘The Tohunga and the Atua’ by Neke Moa
‘Habitat 2’ by Jane Downes

‘The Clusterfuck That Was’ by George Agius
Judge Lynne Sandri announcing the award winners.


The RT Nelson Awards for Sculpture is a unique opportunity for NZ sculptors to be recognised and rewarded for their talent and craftsmanship.

There’s a total of $20,000 available with a premier prize of $15,000 with five highly commended prizes of $1000 each.

The awards seek to foster, educate, and nurture a market for small scale sculpture so they can be enjoyed in one’s home. They highlight the diversity of small-scale works and celebrate our unique culture and heritage through New Zealand sculpture.

Carve. Mold. Melt. Cast. Shape. Assemble
Wood. Stone. Metal. Bronze, Clay. Glass. Textile. Mixed media


Richard T. Nelson is an avid art collector and appreciator. Originally from the USA, Richard has called Wellington, NZ home for past 25 years.

Richard’s love of sculpture started more than 50 years ago upon visiting a small gallery in Haiti. There he came across some beautiful works by a Haitian sculptor, Ludovic Booz. He purchased 3 elegant mahogany sculptures that he admires and appreciates to this day.

His collection holds contemporary pieces from around the world including Europe, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Haiti, Japan and Africa. His sculpture collection includes a considerable selection of smaller works, providing the inspiration for this award.

Richard T Nelson appreciates the elegance and grace of sculpture, and wishes to reward technique and true craftsmanship through this award.

Lissy Cole
Nyree Mcinally
Jo Tricker

L to R: Lynne Sandri (judge), Jane Downes (Highly commended award winner), Richard Nelson (awards founder), Chrstophe Jannin (Highly commended award winner)
Lynne Sandri with artwork by Birgit Moffatt
Artworks by Vicki Charles (bottom) and Kiya Nancarrow

The NZ Art Show wishes to thank the following for their support: