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Judge announces finalists for National Contemporary Art Award

30 Jun 2016
Judge Misal Adnan Yildiz has selected 34 entries as finalists for this year’s National Contemporary Art Award managed by Waikato Museum.

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Waikato Museum - Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
Jun 30, 2016

Judge Misal Adnan Yildiz has selected 34 entries as finalists for this year’s National Contemporary Art Award managed by Waikato Museum.

Finalists were selected through a blind judging process where Yildiz reviewed artists’ statements, images and optional video works online without seeing the identity of the artist.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says the National Contemporary Art Award had an excellent response this year.

“We’re excited about the calibre of this year’s entrants and I would like to thank all those who entered; it’s a tough competition and your support is invaluable to the success of the National Contemporary Art Award.”

The finalists for the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award are:

  1. Push Me Pull You - Cachemaille and Bowmast, Motueka               
  2. The Formation of Jupiter - Yoon Tae Kim, Auckland         
  3. Radiance and Colour - Oliver King, Warkworth
  4. Watchers (George Bolt Memorial Drive) - Brendon Sellar, Auckland         
  5. To a willing person, injury is not done - Douglas Stichbury, USA 
  6. LITEWEIGHT (The Holy Trinity Of Muscle or Last Minute Tips For 11th Hour Abs) - Gary Mackay, Auckland
  7. Good Kisser - Sorawit Songsataya, Auckland
  8. The Essence of Art- Part 1 - Tony Nicholls, Hamilton
  9. A Brighter Future - Tiger Murdoch, Auckland      
  10. Envelope - Matt Arbuckle, Auckland       
  11. Sacred Valley -Mark Bolland, Dunedin
  12. Random - Susan Mabin, Hastings
  13. Phablet 3.0 - Charlotte Imogen Benoit, Auckland              
  14. Departures - D Milton Browne, Dunedin
  15. Drugs on Toast - Justin Spiers, Dunedin
  16. Nest Number Four - Justin Spiers, Dunedin
  17. An Informal Evening - Daegan Wells, Christchurch
  18. A Booth with Ocean Views (Self Portrait) - Christopher Ulutupu, Wellington
  19. Fountain is a Copy? - Ella Sutherland and Matthew Galloway, Dunedin  
  20. Monochronic - Clara Wells, Hamilton
  21. Moon Deed Set in Concrete - Wendelien Bakker, Auckland
  22. Paramount - Alex Miln, Tauranga
  23. Rosa Drive -In - Alex Miln, Tauranga
  24.  The Oil Fields - John G Johnston, Auckland
  25. The Briefcase - Jason McCormick, Nelson
  26. Maquette for a Monument to Global Capitalism and the Free World - Matt Ellwood, Auckland
  27. Floor Work I - Rohan Hartley Mills, Oratia
  28. It Could Not Possibly Happen Here, Could It? - Peter McLaren, Dunedin
  29. Four Colours Only - Peter McLaren, Dunedin      
  30. Blind:HI-FI - Jonathan Organ and Jessica Pearless, Auckland
  31. Liberte - Paul Handley, Melbourne
  32. The Order of Things - Mike Ting, Wellington
  33. Pillar of Cloud - Brit Bunkley, Whanganui
  34. Pārekereke – Seedbed - Elliot Collins, Auckland

The winner and merit award winners of the National Contemporary Art Award will be announced on Friday 2 September at Waikato Museum. The exhibition will open from Saturday 3 September until Sunday 4 December 2016.

The winner of the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award will receive $20,000 from the major sponsors, Chow Hill and Tompkins Wake. Three merit awards of $1000 each will be awarded from the Friends of Waikato Museum, Random Art Group and David’s Emporium.

Judge’s statement

“One of the most significant voices of our time, gender and queer theorist/author Jack or Judith (whichever you choose) Halberstam proposes to ‘think counterintuitively and act accordingly’ as one of the five tenets of her/his “Gaga Feminism”- framed as a timely form of feminism for post-capitalism. She/he argues that ‘[a] lot of what we learn as common sense actually makes no sense, especially as change does happen in complex societies such as the ones we inhabit’.

“During the process of evaluating the applications for the National Contemporary Art Award, I have been intuitively following this advice; and approaching the images, texts and links with a curiosity around their actual forms, presentation skills and ideas for installations. One can never experience a painting through an online layout or an installation via images; so my only tool was my paracuratorial practice. 

“Today, from Orlando to Istanbul gender politics are still relevant. The questions around immigration, integration and refugees are urgent. ‘The end of neoliberalism’ is not just a title for an article printed by Monocle magazine; it is a reality that surrounds us. We are seeing the end of things and the new beginnings every day, every moment, every second, more and more...

“So what is the social impact of the artist on this global-glocal-local transformation? How can art contribute to the question of living together? What is empiricism and what is experimenting in art context? What is risk and failure today? How do artists approach material, space and context? Through several different strategies of developing attempts to “read” these images in these applications, I have found myself ending up with the same list of applications. They have all started to look back at me and repeat the same advice: Think counterintuitively and act accordingly. I am proud that the exhibition of finalists for the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award is based on questions we can share with the rest of the world.” – Misal Adnan Yildiz

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