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2015 National Contemporary Art Award

18 July - 1 November 2015

"It is
a question
of whether
this interests you
but rather
of whether
you yourself
could become interesting
under new conditions
of cultural creation."

Guy de Bord, Towards a Situationist International, 1957

Artists bravely place their work under our scrutiny. In this exhibition, each artist shares something they have never exhibited before. By looking at and responding in some way to these artworks, you change from ‘stranger’ to ‘participant’.

This is the 16th year of the National Contemporary Art Award which launched in 2000. This year’s award was judged by Aaron Kreisler, Head of School at Ilam School of Fine Arts and is managed by Waikato Museum. The winner of the 2015 National Contemporary Art Award received S15,000 from the major sponsors, Chow:Hill and Tompkins Wake.

Congratulations to this year's winner Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. Read the announcement here.


The 52 artworks nominated as finalists make up the award exhibition. Read their artists' statements here.

The finalists are:

  • Gaby Montejo - Christchurch
  • Imogen Taylor - Auckland
  • Max Bellamy - Dunedin
  • Angela Tiatia - Auckland
  • D Milton Browne - Dunedin
  • Scarlett Cibilich - Auckland
  • Monique Redmond and Layne Waerea - Auckland
  • Madeleine Child - Auckland
  • Matt Moriarty - Kaikoura
  • Mark Purdom - Hamilton
  • Daegan Wells - Christchurch
  • Emma Cunningham - Whanganui
  • Francis van Hout - Christchurch
  • Martin Awa Clarke Langdon  - Auckland
  • Josh Hamilton - Auckland
  • Lisa Chandler - Richmond
  • Kaye McGarva – Hawkes Bay
  • Wendelien Bakker – Auckland
  • Louise Lever – Auckland
  • Lorraine Rastorfer – Wellington
  • Marie Le Lievre – Christchurch
  • Sonya Lacey – Auckland
  • Poppy Lekner – Wellington
  • Sarah Smuts-Kennedy – Auckland
  • Damon Meade – Gisborne
  • Jennifer Mason – Auckland
  • Justin Spiers – Dunedin
  • Thomas Hinton and Karl Bayly – Hamilton
  • Stefan Roberts – Christchurch
  • Delia Woodham – Auckland
  • Jessica Pearless – Auckland
  • EDWARDS+JOHANN – Christchurch
  • Marita Hewitt – Kerikeri
  • Alison Fausett – Auckland
  • Deborah Crowe – Auckland
  • Peter McLaren – Dunedin
  • Brendon Sellar – Auckland
  • Hugo Koha Lindsay – Auckland
  • Bronwyn Holloway-Smith – Wellington
  • Rohan Hartley Mills – Oratia
  • Virginia Leonard – Warkworth
  • Mark Soltero – Lyttelton
  • Rebecca Stewart – Christchurch
  • Sandy Son – Auckland
  • Shannon Novak – Auckland
  • Roger Mortimer – Auckland
  • Heather Hayward – Paraparaumu
  • Elliot Collins – Auckland
  • Kyle Sattler – Tauranga
  • Sarah Rose – Auckland
  • Tracey Stockley-Smith - Hamilton
  • Catherine Fookes – Auckland

More information


Event: National Contemporary Art Award - Pass the Baton, Saturday 31 October. Read more here

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This year’s judge is Aaron Kreisler. Aaron Kreisler is the Head of School at Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury.

In his previous role as curator at Dunedin Public Art Gallery he produced numerous projects, including the exhibitions; Sound Full: Sound in Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art (with Dr. Caleb Kelly, DPAG and City Gallery, Wellington, 2012 - 2014), CONTACT. Artists from Aotearoa/New Zealand (co-curator Leonhard Emmerling, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2012) AMONG THE MACHINES (co-curator Dr Susan Ballard, DPAG, 2013) Seung Yul Oh: MOAMOA (co-curated with Aaron Lister, DPAG and City Gallery Wellington, 2013 - 2014) and Where do I end and you begin (co-curated with Thembinkosi  Goniwe, Richard Hylton, Kathleen Ritter and Vidya Shivadas, City Art Centre, Edinburgh, 2014).

Through the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Visiting Artists Programme he invited, commissioned and wrote about artists such as; Steve Carr (NZ), Spencer Finch (US),  Alicia Frankovich (NZ), Dane Mitchell (NZ), Nina Katchadourian (US), David Clegg (NZ), Fiona Connor (NZ), and Goldin + Senneby (SWE). Kreisler has written extensively on contemporary art and artists from the Asia Pacific region and is an award winning arts reviewer.

Major sponsors

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Image: Pioneer City flag, Bronwyn Holloway Smith, winner 2015 National Contemporary Art Award.