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Winner Announced For 2013 National Contemporary Art Award

13 August 2013

For immediate release

An Auckland artist, Dieneke Jansen has won the 2013 National Contemporary Art Award sponsored by Waikato Society of Arts and hosted by Waikato Museum.

The winning artwork Morrison Drive, Hobsonville 23 November 2012 is constructed from 20-plus photographs of Morrison Drive, a former RNZAF airfield sold to the state then redeveloped under the Gateway Housing Scheme in 2008 before being axed in 2012.

Judge Jon Bywater says on the surface, Jansen’s winning work is a strikingly ordinary photograph, yet also strikingly strange.

“Its subject is some overgrown debris in an empty section, in front of some unremarkable state houses. At the same time, it is a technically improbable-looking image, crisply focused from one end to the other of a large print that hangs down the wall and into the room, from blades of grass in the foreground right to trees on the horizon.

“This abundance of visual information slows us down, but what the story might be here is not made plain. The title - just an address and a date - is our cue to discover more, to consider a specific location and point in time, and how it might relate to both bigger pictures and details of people’s lives.”

The winner received a cheque for $15,000 from the sponsor, Waikato Society of Arts.

Mr Bywater chose the winning entry from 37 finalists’ entries, which are featured in the award exhibition. There are also two merit awards. They are: 

  • Brent Hayward, Psychedelic River Tribe Moored Up for a Trade, a history painting making the past appear stranger than we might expect, and;
  • Zac Langdon-Pole Disguised as its Physical Self, a work repeating the century-old gesture of presenting a found object as art. 

The National Contemporary Art Award exhibition is open to the public from Saturday 17 August until Sunday 10 November 2013. Admission is free.

For more information and to view the online catalogue, visit




NAME: Louise Belay
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