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Artist wins national award

AWARD WINNER: Artist Kristy Griggs’ work earned her recognition in a nationwide competition. Photo supplied

• Howick and Pakuranga Times

KRISTY Griggs knows exactly how much time she spent creating an ultra-realistic drawing that helped her capture a major art award.

“It took 478 hours, or two and a half months,” the Howickian says of her work, which earned a highly commended prize at the Taranaki Art Awards on October 28.

The 27-year-old’s graphite pencil entry, which is titled Tepid Distortions and is an incredibly detailed reproduction of a child’s face, earned her recognition from her peers and a cheque for $500.  

It was the first national competition the self-taught artist has entered in the three years she’s been drawing.

Ms Griggs entered the works on paper category and was up against other drawings, watercolours, acrylics, pastels and ink works.

Other categories included oil paintings, 3D works, fibre art, photography and pieces depicting Taranaki.

“I didn’t have any expectations when I entered,” she told the Times. “I did it mainly for the experience.

“Just before the awards I got a phone call from the organisers who wanted to make sure I was going down, so I assumed that meant something.

“It’s my first big entry and I was just really blown away.”

The awards, which consist of monetary prizes, were presented to 14 out of the 250 artists entered.

Despite being yet to take a single lesson, the gifted artist held her first solo show at Uxbridge, Howick’s creative centre, in April this year. She’s now working on 12 pieces for the next one, which she plans to unveil in New Zealand and her home country of Australia next year.

“This was the first child I’ve attempted to draw,” she says of Tepid Distortions.

“I will be doing more works that have a personal connection to me from now on, but this was more of a study. I always look at my drawings and despise them for a good month or so before I like them.

“I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved, as it hasn’t taken on its own life until it’s on paper.

“Getting the award and hearing people’s responses really justifies it. I didn’t go to art school or anything, so it’s the critiquing and responses that I really need as an artist.”

Tepid Distortions will soon be heading to Wellington for an event run by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

The organisation invites its A-list clients every year in December to let them bid on new works by New Zealand artists.

The Taranaki Art Awards began in 2001 and are held each year at the Sandfords Events Centre, Tasman Street, Opunake on Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45. For more information about the awards phone Suzie Stanley on (06) 761-8879 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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