'Free-spirited' art in national exhibition - Regional winners announced

Monday 3 August 2009, 5:59PM
By Telecom New Zealand

Free-spirited, unconventional, spontaneous and deeply personal - that’s how the judges of the IHC Telecom Art Awards described the 400 works they judged in three regional exhibitions.

The IHC Telecom Art Awards are the major showcase of the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. The awards are open to all New Zealanders with an intellectual disability.

The top 30 entries, selected from the regional competitions, will be exhibited at Chaffers Gallery in Wellington in September. From this line-up, the national winners are chosen and members of the public can place bids to take home their favourite pieces.

The regional winners were judged by the head of World fashion house, designer Denise L’Estrange-Corbet; internationally renowned artists Dick Frizzell and Karl Maughan; and founding director of Wellington’s City Gallery Paula Savage.

The 30 regional finalists are:

Graham Adams, Christchurch
Diane Hockridge, Kaikoura
John Lambie, Christchurch
Joanne McGimpsey, Christchurch
Kaye McMurray, Temuka
Geoffrey Pote, Motukea
Ania Solomon, Timaru
Sally Owen, Christchurch
Jason Beswick, Christchurch
Jonathan Bowler, Christchurch
Matthew Bishopp, Tauranga
Shannon Bowden, Auckland
Melissa Donoghue, Hamilton
Melanie Gardiner, Tokoroa
Jonothan Gill, Auckland
Joanna Lynskey, Auckland
Vesna Tomic, Auckland
Jules Carlyon, Auckland
Cherie Mellsopp, Hamilton
Paul Sedgwick, Hamilton
Wendy Best, Wellington
Michael Brandt, Harewa
Scott Carlsen, Paraparaumu
Denise Dennehy, Wellington
Colin Korovin, Wellington
Lisa McConnochie, Upper Hutt
Brett Udy, Waikanae
Emma Gregory, Upper Hutt
Shaun O’Riorden, Wellington
Catherine Scully, Carterton

The overall quality of work impressed Karl Maughan.

“There is a very high standard of work with very little concern for convention. The artwork comes from a head space where Picasso was always trying to be.”

Denise L’Estrange-Corbet felt the works represented art in its truest form.

“There are no preconceptions, these are free-spirited art forms. The artists don’t think about whether they can or can’t do or create something, they just do it.”

Paula Savage recognised the staff who support artists with disabilities.

“The staff working with these artists create an environment which encourages freedom and creativity. In a sense, the art is untaught and deeply personal. It’s spontaneous, and there’s a freedom about it that is very interesting.”

Dick Frizzell said that art is timeless.

“I’m always surprised by the quality of the artwork. It’s a real testament to the consistency of talent among the artists and the support they are receiving.”

The works can be viewed and bids placed

The IHC Telecom Art Awards were established in 2004 to encourage and recognise creativity from New Zealanders with an intellectual disability. The awards to the four winners will be presented at a function in Wellington on Wednesday 23 September at Chaffers Gallery in Wellington. First prize is $5000, second prize is $2000 and third and fourth place winners each receive $1000.

The IHC Telecom Art Awards are part of Telecom’s community investment programme. Telecom has been proud sponsor of the Art Awards since their inception.

“Like Telecom, the IHC Telecom Art Awards have communication at their heart. Art is a powerful medium for intellectually disabled New Zealanders because it provides them with the opportunity to voice their perceptions of the world in unique and positive ways,” said Telecom Sponsorship Manager Alex Milne.

“It is fantastic to see the number of entrants growing year by year, and I encourage everyone to go and see the artworks on show.”

For more information, please contact:
Philippa Sellens
Communications Manager
IHC New Zealand Inc
Ph: (04) 495 2771
Mobile: 027 490 4925

Alex Milne
Group Sponsorship Manager
Telecom NZ Ltd.
Ph: (04) 498 5573
Mobile: 027 655 4485