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20th National Contemporary Art Award winner to be announced next week

26 July 2019

Dr Fiona Pardington MNZM for FB

The winner of the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award, worth $25,000 and one of the richest in the New Zealand art world, will be determined in a week’s time by this year’s judge, Dr Fiona Pardington MNZM (pictured), at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Fifty-two finalist works are arriving into the Museum’s safe-keeping for judging on Friday next week for the 20th celebration of the Award.  The exhibition of all finalist works will then open to the public on Saturday 3 August.

The works range from a 58-second continuous video loop to photographic art prints, and from an installation that incorporate LEDs (light emitting diodes) and another incorporating barrier mesh to paintings in oils and acrylics.

Artists’ descriptions reveal inspirations that range from reinterpreting the NZ landscape to representational works about social and environmental issues, including one artist’s response to recent comments by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.

Dr Pardington says her selection of the finalists was “personal and intuitive.”

After nearly turning down the responsibility for judging the Award, she says, “I changed my mind because this award is a pivotal event for encouraging and celebrating new ideas and new methods of artistic expression in New Zealand.”

Waikato Museum Director, Cherie Meecham, says, “It’s a privilege to host the Award. Thanks to our sponsors it has developed into a landmark on the New Zealand art scene.”

Tompkins Wake, one of New Zealand’s leading law firms, and nationally-renowned architects Chow:Hill, have co-sponsored the Award since 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Details of the upcoming exhibition, which runs until 10 November, are available on the Waikato Museum website

Photo caption: Judge of the 2019 National Contemporary Art Award, Dr Fiona Pardington MNZM

Crystal Beavis
Partnerships and Communications Manager
Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
ph 07-974-0535, 0275-957-927