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Style, technique and concept wins National Contemporary Art Award

28 July 2017


Image: The Meaning of Ethics, Kim Pieters.

The winner of Waikato Museum’s National Contemporary Art Award is a work that is both visually stunning and emotionally evocative.

The Meaning of Ethics by Dunedin’s Kim Pieters was selected as the major winner from the 50 finalists by award judge Elizabeth Caldwell, Director of City Gallery Wellington.

Merit prizes also went to Jo Torr’s Korro Korro by Thomas Tooi 1818, Te Whare Tapa Whā by Anthony Cribb, and Fame in Oats: A Manifesto- Manuscript Preparation by Mia Stefano.

Caldwell says Pieters’ work displays a deft command of the abstract painting tradition.

“The Meaning of Ethics has stylistic, technical and conceptual excellence, as well as originality.

“It is a painting which asks for an intellectual and emotional response.

“The title and catalogue statement provide clues to the concepts being explored, such as the role of an individual in the community, and that experiences from the past aren’t lost –beauty is alive in memory.”

The 50 finalist works, by 48 artists, were chosen by Caldwell through a blind judging process. The winner and merit prize recipients were also narrowed down without the artists’ names being disclosed.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says the National Contemporary Art Award is an important exhibition for Hamilton and the Waikato.

“For art lovers, museum-goers and culture connoisseurs, this is your All Blacks or Silver Ferns match, your Fieldays, your Balloons over Waikato. The purpose of this award is so that the best in New Zealand contemporary art comes to Hamilton and the Waikato every year, for our residents and visitors to be exposed to.”

The exhibition is open until Sunday 5 November at Waikato Museum.

The winner of the 2017 National Contemporary Art Award received $20,000 from the major sponsors, Chow Hill and Tompkins Wake. Three merit awards –worth $1,000 each – were awarded by the Friends of Waikato Museum, Random Art Group and David’s Emporium. Visitors to Waikato Museum can vote for their favourite artwork in the ArtZone People’s Choice Award to be announced after the exhibition closes.


For more information contact:

Dan Silverton

Partnerships and Communications Manager

07 838 6956

021 056 9810