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2018 National Contemporary Art Award

4 August - 28 October 2018

Free entry

The best and boldest contemporary art always emerges out of the National Contemporary Art Award. The art award has been one of the most prestigious art events for the last eighteen years in Aotearoa because of the calibre of its judges and artists alike. Contemporary art is not just an exhibition of art for the elite, it is an invitation to anyone with an inquiring mind to enjoy. The 2018 judge, Reuben Friend, Director of Pātaka Art + Museum, has selected this year’s finalists from over 300 entries. 

The overall winner will receive $20,000 from Tompkins Wake and Chow:Hill Architects Ltd. The Hugo Charitable Trust will sponsor the Hugo Award for the Runner-Up, with the recipient receiving $5,000, and each merit award winner will receive $1,000 sponsored by Friends of Waikato Museum and Random Art Group.

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Image: Consumer Culture, Kereama Taepa, 2018 National Contemporary Art Award Runner Up


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First Prize

You and Me. The Weight of History, Sarah Ziessen

Runner Up

Consumer Culture, Kereama Taepa

Merit Awards

Doesn't Exactly Fill Me with Confidence, tbh, Natchez Hudson

The Potential of a Promise, Martin Awa Clarke Langdon



Horizons - Amanda Densham, Auckland

LAND SWALLOWERS 2 - Brett Graham, Waiuku

talk to me - D Milton Browne, Dunedin

Aloft the Little Lower Layer - Dennis Blair, Auckland

Divided Bear Bodies - Don Chooi, Auckland

On the Seam of Things - Constellations #2 - EDWARDS+JOHANN, Christchurch

Blue Spring - James Wylie, Auckland

Rua waka wairua - Jo Torr, Tauranga

Machine Drawing: Two Columns - Julian McKinnon, Auckland

Enclosure - Justin Spiers, Dunedin

Consumer Culture - Kereama Taepa, Papamoa

Accidental Opus; Configuration 3 - Kyle Sattler, Tauranga

the Lie of the Land #2 - Lee Harrop, Australia

Lesbians are not women - Louise Lever, Auckland

Atomic Vanitas - Japan Floating - Lynn Hurst, Whanganui

Misplaced Youth #14: High-lite - M J P Binks, Auckland

Land of Hope - Marie E. Potter, Auckland 

Still Here (green floral) - Marita Hewitt, Kerikeri

Space Raccoon Gang - everything is connected - Mark Curtis, Hamilton

Arctic Ghillie Suit, 29/10/17. - Mark Purdom, Hamilton

The potential of a promise - Martin Awa Clarke Langdon, Wellington  

All that glitters ain't gold - Monique Lacey, Auckland

Doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, tbh - Natchez Hudson, Wellington

Antechamber 2018 - Peter Roche, Auckland

'Les Trois Morts' - Rebecca Hazard, Auckland

down the drain - Rebekah Rasmussen, Wellington

Scar - Sam Dollimore, Porirua

You and Me. The Weight of History - Sarah Ziessen, Rotorua

The Limit - Sebastien Jaunas, Paekakariki

Dopamine Blues - Shannon Novak, Auckland

Tongpop: A family of souvenirs - Telly Tuita, Lyall Bay

Aho Mutungakore - Tessa Ma'auga, Palmerston North



Judge - Reuben Friend

Reuben Cropped

Reuben Friend (b.1981) is the Director of Pātaka Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington, New Zealand. He is an artist and curator of Maaori (Ngaati Maniapoto) and New Zealand Paakehaa heritage. From 2009 to 2013, Friend worked as the Curator of Māori and Pacific Art at City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand where he co-curated Art in Oceania, a major survey exhibition of New Zealand and Pacific art that was exhibited simultaneously across The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and City Gallery Wellington. Friend has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy in Māori Visual Arts and Post Graduate qualifications in Museum Studies from Massey University, and a Diploma in Māori Language from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.