26th Annual Wallace Arts Trust Awards 2017 | Winners

Press Release: Wallace Arts Trust

The 26th Annual Wallace Art Awards 2017, with prizes amounting to over $275,000, was presented by Michael Moynahan, Chair, Arts Council, Creative New Zealand, at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre on Monday September 4.

The Wallace Art Awards aim to support, promote and expose New Zealand contemporary art and artists. They are the longest surviving and largest annual art awards of their kind in New Zealand.

This year the Wallace Arts Trust received 428 entries from which 83 were selected as finalists. From the finalists 55 have been chosen for the Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition and the balance is represented in the Salon des Refusés.

The Wallace Arts Trust is pleased to include a new Residency in this year’s Art Awards, a 3 months residency at the British School at Rome. This Award has been initiated by Enrica Sciarrino (Associate Professor in Classics, University of Canterbury) and independent working artists Simon Ogden and Andrew Drummond, and is designed to facilitate a unique opportunity for New Zealand artists in their early to mid-career stage. The BSR is the UK’s leading research institute abroad, supporting the full range of arts, humanities and social sciences. The winner of this Residency Award will establish themselves at both the BSR and in the city of Rome, and undertake a productive period of research and/or hands-on work.


The Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award
Andy Leleisi’uao, Harmonic People, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 1500 x 2400
Andy Lelesi’uao receives a 6 month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, USA.

Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award
Rebecca Swan, I Am Here, Two channel video. Duration: 6 minutes. Video Rebecca Swan, audio Charlie Ha.
Rebecca Swan will receive a 3 month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, USA.

The Kaipara Wallace Arts Trust Award
Shannon Novak, 30 Nights on Queen Street, 2017, C-type print and acrylic on recycled promotional material, 1330 x 1280
Shannon Novak receives a 3 month residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland.

The Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award
Matt Arbuckle, Mining for Bitcoins, 2017, Oil on canvas, 1720 x 3400
Matt Arbuckle receives a 3 month residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, USA.

First Runner-up Award
Christina Read, Here’s A Plan, 2017, Fabric, 170 x 118
Christina Read receives $2,500.

Second Runner-up Award
Matthew Couper, The Chief Mourner and the Last Drops, 2017, Oil and collage on canvas, 1470 x 1165
Matthew Couper receives $2,500.

Jury Award
James Oram, rearrangement 5, 2017, granite on carved plasterboard, 790 x 610
This prize is non-monetary.

The BSR Wallace New Zealand Residence Award
Deborah Rundle, Chorus, 2016, mono warehouse speaker, audio (0:37 looped), 300 x 260 x 200
Deborah Rundle receives a 3 month residency at British School at Rome in Rome, Italy.

The People’s Choice Award of $750 is announced at the end of the touring exhibition.

The 2017 awards were judged by a panel comprising of prominent members of the arts sector’ Linda Tyler, Richard Maloy and Russ Flatt, as well as Steve Carr, Phil Dadson and Ruth Watson who judged the Fullbright-Wallace Art Trust Award together with Richard Maloy. For the British School at Rome Residence Award, Linda Tyler was joined by Andrew Dummond and Simon Ogden.

1. The Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition will be exhibited at:
• Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre: 5 September – 12 November 2017.
• Wallace Gallery Morrinsville: 29 November 2017 – 28 January 2018 (Opening: November 2, 11am – 1pm)
• Academy Galleries, Wellington: 19 February – 25 March 2018 (Opening: date to be confirmed)
2. The Salon des Refusés will be exhibited at the Pah Homestead from 5 September – 29 October 2017

Regarding Andy Leleisi’uao, Paramount Award Winner, Linda Tyler commented, “Working intuitively, Andy Leleisi’uao shows great skill at creating complex compositions, dividing his canvases into compartments filled with silhouetted figures, busily at work. Many of the objects that can be discerned in this painting are based on items he has around him in his studio. His ingenuity lies in the ability to transform artefacts of the everyday into a symbolic order. A hammer, for example, becomes a metaphor for building an ideal society where everyone co-exists in order and unity.
His references are both comic strips and black-figure Greek vase painting, where a narrative is conveyed in frames. Colour is used sparingly, with accents of pink and red occurring for special emphasis – a wooden lion on wheels or a long-tailed comb move the eye in the same direction as reading, left to right. Overhead in many of the scenes is a red dot, the constant shining sun, which accompanies daytime labours, but also is a punctuation point of interest which through repetition connects each section into a harmonious whole.”

Date(s) - 05/09/2017 - 05/10/2017
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