The Awards - 2019 Winners

Congratulations to all our award winners. We would like to thank our selection committee and our judges.

The photos below were taken within the exhibition so apologies for the poor light quality - they will be replaced by the artists’ supplied images.

PREMIER AWARD - Sponsored by Impressions Art Supplies and Framing, Richmond. Additionally the Award winner received a subscription to NZ Artist Magazine.

Rhonye McIlroy for ‘The Plight of Betty Guard’


This work appeals on many levels; demonstrating a sophisticated technique in acrylics – it has an intriguing narrative and even if the viewer doesn’t know the story there are many visual cues to pick up on. It is an unusual and contemporary take on the history genre. The juxtaposition of new and old also raises the curiosity of the viewer. The figure depicted has an arresting presence, engaging the viewer with a hypnotic stare. It is well painted with great materiality conveyed in a number of the elements such as the lace work and the feather. This unique painting showed a high level of technique and the fusion between an historical portrait and an almost ‘steam punk’ ambience created a mysterious and elusive quality.

MERIT AWARDS x 4 - Sponsored by Daler Rowney, Golden, Liquitex and Winsor & Newton - additionally each winner received a subscription to NZ Artist Magazine

Merit Award - Emma Welsford for ‘Flight SQ0308’


A deliberately understated work in a restricted watercolour palette of whites and greys unusually presented on plaster, that gradually draws the viewer in to the fine detail of the aerial perspective and the visual texture as we move across the painting from one panel to the next. An original work with unusual media, well controlled and executed with great skill. The topographical perspective is engaging and a novel interpretation of landscape.

Merit Award - Shane Skehan for ‘Weeping Song’


The imagery of “Weeping Song” has an indeterminate biomorphic quality that engages the viewer with shapes that are almost, but not quite recognisable. All the forms remain distinct yet never identifiable as one shape merges into the next. A complex composition as the energies in the four quarters pull us into the centre and then back into the depths beyond. Although an abstract composition, the rhythms, depth and sense of movement contribute to the overall effect of life forms and hold the viewer’s interest in an organic and continuous composition. A good understanding of colour that harmonises with a transition from blue to turquoise into green yellow and finally to yellow.

Merit Award - Karen Rankin Neal for ‘Back From The Brink - NZ Takahe’


The depiction of the Takahe is an astonishingly skilfully handled example of the notoriously difficult scraperboard technique, usually a black and white medium, cleverly augmented with coloured inks to create the wonderful iridescence of the wing feathers. Its dramatic lighting demonstrates exquisite control of light/chiaroscuro and conceptual restraint in using iridescent colour only in the wing of the bird. The colour used only in the wing leads our eye up to the uncoloured head that gave the optical illusion that there was colour.

Merit Award - Jill Seeney for ‘Playground’


A painters’ painting where qualities of paint and their application to the canvas are explored for their own sake as the title suggests.  A painting that showed a great understanding of colour and form as the painting morphs between landscape and abstraction. This work seemed very intuitive and not contrived with a sure understanding of the way we move through the painting via the opposing rhythms.

The painting is full of discoveries resolved into a harmonious whole. It is handled with a pleasing palette and provides an interesting path for the eye to meander around the work, both in front and behind some of the abstract forms.

WILDLIFE ART AWARD - sponsored by Janet Marshall

Julie Freeman for ‘Serenity’


A unanimous decision of the judges, in “Serenity” the pastel medium beautifully expresses the softness and luminosity of the duck’s plumage.  The tactile quality of the feathers and calm moving water showed masterful handling of the medium. The clever composition with head turned away emphasises this and draws the viewer into the picture plane to the sophisticated rendering of the underwater legs as the only touch of colour in the whole composition.

BEST PASTEL PAINTING IN SHOW -  Sponsored by Jill Vollmer Accounting

Anne Bannock for ‘Pool With Glass Wall’


With so many astonishingly sophisticated pastel works in the exhibition, “Pool with Glass Wall” stood out for its playful and adventurous use of the medium. Here pastel was used in its drawing capacity, with a lively and assured line to depict what is a difficult composition as the figures link together by the swirling water and reflections. A creative arrangement of the subject that has more to do with successful image making than just conscientious copying of a photograph.

Other works of interest

The Judges’ also commend the following works: 

Judy Woods   ‘Stand Tall’

Meredith Thorpe    ‘Play’

Lily Emo    ‘Plastic wrapped red cabbage’

Saghi Redmond    ‘Christmas in July’

PEOPLE’S CHOICE - Sponsored by NBS
This award will be announced after the closure of the exhibition on October 12th.