A cantilevered bus shelter, titled Parallel of Life and Art by Auckland artists Michael Parr and Blaine Western has won the 2012 National Contemporary Art Award sponsored by Barry Hopkins and hosted by Waikato Museum.
This year’s judge, Caterina Riva says the selection of the finalists and the choice of the winner, gave a preference to works and artists that clearly challenged the usual ways in which art is made and presented.
“The winners have managed to address successfully the local content but have also been brave enough to make and position their work outside the museum, and doing that, engaging in a wider social conversation with the city,” she said.
The in-situ installation, constructed in the grounds of the Museum references “Hamilton’s employment of brutalist stylistics during the institutional building booms in the late fifties and sixties in the region.” The winning duo received a cheque for $15,000 at a gala awards ceremony at the Museum tonight.
Miss Riva chose the winning entry from 19 finalists’ entries, which are featured in the award exhibition.
Miss Riva also announced three merit awards. They are:
Untitled (After Rakaihautu) by Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley - Nelson
Robot Coupe/C/Options by Oscar Enberg - Auckland
Studio Shot by Roman Mitch – Auckland
Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham welcomed the finalists and guests at the award ceremony tonight and spoke about the investment Hamilton has as a host to this extraordinary national art award.
“This is the 11th year the National Contemporary Art Award has been here at Waikato Museum and we welcome and celebrate it. This award never fails to make itself known. First it challenges our artists, who respond accordingly and then it gets people talking – about art.
“The result is a unique exhibition, formed by the judge’s decision which we have the pleasure of sharing,” she said.
Ms Meecham also applauded the 2012 sponsor Barry Hopkins for his generosity and vision in keeping fine arts alive.
“Mr Hopkins has over the years contributed to this museum with his heart and soul, he has played an important part in shaping our art collection and we cannot thank him enough,” she said.
The 2012 National Contemporary Art Award is open to the public from Friday 17 August until Friday 18 November 2012.
The award was first launched at Waikato Museum in 2000. Every year a new judge is selected and entries to the award have continued to grow. This year, 230 artists submitted their work.
For more information and to view the online catalogue, visit www.waikatomuseum/ncaa