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New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award 2012

At a gala event on the opening night of the Festival, this year's judge, John Daly-Peoples, announced his choice for the prestigious New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award along with three merit awards. The award is sponsored by the Philip Vela Family Trust.

During the festival, more than 3000 people visited the show; of these, 1430 took the opportunity to vote for their favourite art work for the 'People's Choice' award.

Supreme Award Winner ($20,000 award)

Gary McMillan for his acrylic painting on linen: Scene 8. 

John Daly-Peoples and Gary McMillan (photo: A. Challinor)

Merit Awards

Peata Larkin for her acrylic painting on mixed media:  Pulse (2011) 

Stefan Roberts for his photograph: Finding Unclaimed Baggage

Paul Woodruffe for his three-colour lithograph: Rahopara to Memorial Avenue

People's Choice Award

The most popular work was ‘ Hydrangeas’ by Auckland artist Janette Cervin, and this large oil painting, which was sold during the exhibition, has won the artist vouchers from Gordon Harris.

See the winners and other finalists for the 2012 NZPPA.

Some snaps from the opening

WSA President Dianne Yates introduces John Daly-Peoples, judge for NZPPA 2012  (photo: A. Challinor)

Lyn Vela, representing the Philip Vela Family Trust, and Hollie O'Neill's work: When God made you ... He was showing off' (photo: A. Challinor)

Stuart Anderson (from sponsor Craigs Investment Partners) with Di Yates and Martha Simms, current and past WSA Presidents, respectively  (photo: A. Challinor)

NZPPA co-organiser Janet Knighton (centre) with Kay and Bernie Crosby (from sponsor Pro Life Foods) (photo: A. Challinor)

Young critics examine Peter Miller's 'All this exists in God' (photo: B. Cope)

Finalist Bridget Oakley Stevens with Elaine and Graeme Henry    (photo: A. Challinor)

An admirer and Beverley Lawrenson's painting: 'Eucalyptus'  (photo: A. Challinor)

Judge for the 2012 Awards: John Daly-Peoples

The judge for the NZ Painting and Printmaking Award 2012 is John Daly-Peoples, who has worked in a number of arts-related areas as a writer, teacher, consultant, curator and administrator. 

Over the last thirty years he has written extensively on the arts and is currently the arts writer for National Business Review, covering a range of the arts – visual art, opera, theatre, dance, film and music. Daly-Peoples has worked with a number of corporates, including Air New Zealand. He currently curates the biannual Team McMillan BMW Art Awards. For a number of years he has been involved with the Eden Arts community art group, which has initiated a number of successful and continuing art activities including Artists in Eden and the Mt Eden Young Artists Award. He has been judge of the Mazda Emerging Artists Awards, The Glaister Ennor Awards for tertiary students, Molly Morpeth Canaday Award and the Windsor and Newton International Art Award.

Daly-Peoples was awarded the 1990 Commemoration Medal for his services to art and literature and was Arts Columnist of the year in the Qantas Media Awards of 1999.

Excerpts from the judge's remarks at the exhibition opening

Thanks to WSA. The opportunity to view a selection art form around the country is of importance to those interested in contemporary culture. In my role as curator it also provides me with snapshot of what artists are doing right now.Thanks to the Philip Vela Trust, not just for the support of the artist but also for what I consider to be an investment in the cultural life and history of New Zealand.

I am always asked why and how I have selected a winner in art awards such as this. There is no adequate answer as it is essentially a personal decision made for a variety of reasons.

Ultimately, ... the work which was chosen [was] based on a personal choice which is related to a number of factors related to my encounters with art in all its forms over the years. This would include how they:

  • Address personal issues around their life and environment. 
  • Try to make sense of our recent history and cultural memory.
  • Experiment with colour, light, texture  and space.
  • Create  tensions between abstraction and realism.
  • Invent and develop narratives or stories which we can relate to and which allow us to understand the artist as well as ourselves.
  • Encapsulate complex social, political and personal issues and ideas within single, often simple images.
  • Acknowledge the art of the past.

About the Supreme Winner, Scene 8 by Gary McMillan:

This is a striking cinematic view of civilizations’ most alien environment – the motorway.

The couple seem to be transported from an old 1960’s B grade sci fi movie into a contemporary setting.

Unlike most paintings where the image contains all the information we need for understanding the story, here one component that the two people are looking at is outside the frame. The artist has, in a sense, extended the space in which is story operates.

He has also chosen to work in black and white, partly to reinforce the cinematic quality of the work, but also to make us aware of the artist creating a work which appears to be photographic.

His depiction of the faces of the couple is expertly rendered and they convey real but ambivalent emotions, with the viewer having to interpret what these are.

The artist alerts us to the skill with which he is able to render surfaces and features by contrast with the very superficial renderings of the clouds.

This eerie, possibly post-apocalyptic environment can be read as a comment on the alienation in contemporary society as well as the sense of unease coupled with a desire to explore new boundaries.


Link to the Hamilton Gardens Art Festival