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Master of Fine Arts student Andre Sampson has won this year’s Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Scholarship for watercolour painting with a series of work that explores visual language.
The award, worth $10,000, is given annually to an Elam School of Fine Arts student at The University of Auckland who excels in the exploration of contemporary themes in watercolour. Lola Anne Tunbridge, who died in 1999, was an avid watercolourist who wished to support aspiring artists in this medium.
Sampson’s award-winning work examines the language of visual communication, referencing art history, illustration, printmaking and advertising. Her watercolours are currently on display at Elam gallery projectspace B431 beside 17 other selected finalists.
New Lynn-based, single mother of two, Sampson says she used watercolour to explore and extend her ideas about visual language in an increasingly image-saturated culture. She plans to use the prize money to pay fees and buy more materials. Now in her final-year at Elam, Sampson hopes to continue exhibiting and in the future obtain a teaching position.
Elam alumnus and painter Nicola Farquar joined fellow painter Simon Ingram, a staff member at Elam, to adjudicate the show. To assist with selecting the winner, all submissions included an artist statement that provided an important context in which to view the works.
“It is a privilege for Elam students to have the opportunity to compete for this significant scholarship. The generosity of Lola Tunbridge in her vision to support advancement in watercolour is an opportunity for our students to explore this challenging and highly rewarding medium. We are grateful for the chance to turn the spotlight on emerging artists who continuously push the boundries in contemporary watercolour painting” says Head of School, Professor Derrick Cherrie.
The scholarship is awarded by the Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Charitable Trust, which is administered by trustee and wealth management company Guardian Trust. This exhibition featuring the finalists in the 2012 Henrietta & Lola Anne Tunbridge Watercolour Scholarship award is on at projectspace B431 until 25 August.
The public will get a further chance to view Sampson’s work at her end of year display as part of the Elam Graduate Show later this year and also in the 21st Annual Wallace Art Awards next month.