RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award recipient: Amy Donnell

Congratulations to Rotorua artist Amy Donnell,  one of the four recipients of the 2018 RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award


[one_half]Amy Donnell, one of four art students to receive a $2,500 RT Nelson Emerging Artist Award,  graduated from Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University, in 2016.

Her steel sculptures allude to the concept of re-enchantment and perceptual shifts,  and they seek to elicit a sense of transcendence as a way of engagement with imagination. Light, atmosphere and the repeated shapes in nature act as inspiration for her sculptures. An interest in how architecture can relate to organic forms and shapes also informs her work.

At the 2018 NZ Art Show, she exhibited her series “Sky Crystals”, geometric steel structures suspended from the ceiling, three-dimensional ‘line drawings’ that defined the space and prompted viewers to look upwards and investigate the works from different viewing angles so as to see each facet of the structures. The multiple ‘crystals’ 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 to create a form of three-dimensional mark making, and each new piece responding, under her direction, to the previous piece.

‘I am influenced by the way Anthony Gormley uses steel in space and how Veronica Ann Janssens uses light as a way of engaging perception. Thus I have utilised the perception of light to re-enchant my steel sculptures.’


‘Sky Crystals’, installaton at NZ Art Show



‘Shadow Drawings’, installation, Auckland, 2016


‘Sky Crystals’


Detail of ‘Shadow Drawings’


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