Ponsonby artist wins Figurative Award

Ponsonby artist Sarah Guppy was the winner of the Michael Evans Award for Figurative work sponsored by the Skin Institute, at last weekend’s prestigious Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award, which opened at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery on Friday 25 October.

Waiheke artist Struan Hamilton was the winner of this year’s $5000 Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award with his work Te Toki Study, a photo intaglio work on paper that explores the island’s organic environment, revealed through abstracting natural structure, particularly that of older trees like the Pohutukawa.

Judy Woods from Whangarei won the Zinni Douglas Merit Award sponsored by the Gallery for her work titled Playtime (acrylic & mixed media on panel). The work is an intuitive abstract response to utilizing different materials and the enchantment of accidental marks that create an element of surprise.

The Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award is an annual national art award for two-dimensional works in any medium established to promote excellence in art.
This year’s selector and judge, was accomplished artist and regular exhibitor Clive Humphreys who recently retired to
Waiheke from his role as Head of School, Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic.

In talking about the works Humphreys commented on the “breadth and diversity that characterised the exhibition” and “how a number of artists had chosen to bring the viewer up close to the surface of the work, as if to emphasise the flatness of the picture plane and the primacy of the medium and its unique materiality.” In congratulating the artists he also commented how, “the arts are about contestable opinion and this is their fundamental strength – allowing visitors to respond to their own sensibilities.”

The Walker & Hall is now a major award event in the New Zealand visual arts calendar having been in existence for over 13 years. This year there were over 80 entries with 33 chosen for the award exhibition, said Gallery Director Linda Chalmers.

From Left to right: Sarah Guppy (artist) Clive Humphreys (selector and judge) Mark Izzard (the Skin Institute) alongside Guppy’s award winning work.

Photo by Peter Rees.