The 2018 National Contemporary Art Awards exhibition at the Waikato Museum is a must-see.
The awards night was held at the beginning of August and the finalists’ works are on display until the end of October.
This year’s entries have stepped it up, with impressive pieces that speak to a plethora of contemporary themes, utilising different materials in order to convey their message. The 2018 judge, Reuben Friend, Director of Pātaka Art + Museum, selected this year’s finalists from over 300 entries.
The winning entry, entitled You and Me, The Weight of History, is the work of Rotorua artist Sarah Ziessen. At first glance, this work is a couple of tailored coats hanging on the wall. A closer look reveals that they are not coats at all, or certainly not created from fabric, instead sculpted from paint skins. The two forms sitting side by side on the wall of the main gallery, were the result of late musings, "I was thinking about race and culture and how we define ourselves because, at the end of the day, we're all just flesh and bone." – Sarah Ziessen, 2018 National Contemporary Art Awards, Supreme Winner.
“Thank you to everyone involved in putting on the exhibition. It is a huge honour to be in included in such a highly regarded exhibition, and even more so to win the award. I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and especially to the sponsors: Their generous support makes the National Contemporary Art Award the most prestigious contemporary art award in the country and allows many artists the opportunity to have their work recognised. For me, winning the award will be a life changer as I have just become a full-time artist…this award gives me considerable space and resources to pursue my ideas…I am especially excited to be able to continue my work with paint skins…and see where it takes me.” – Ziessen.
Ziessen received $20,000 from Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill. Chow:Hill has a vested interest in supporting the arts, both locally and nationally, as the support of these initiatives uplifts the culture and enhances the communities we live in.
September 5, 2018