Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Young artist ‘grateful and excited’ to receive Iris Fisher Scholarship

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Artist Bena Jackson is the latest recipient of the Iris Fisher Scholarship. Photo supplied Russell Kleyn

An accomplished young artist has been named the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Iris Fisher Scholarship.

The award is given out annually by the Te Tuhi art gallery in Pakuranga and this year it’s gone to Wellington-based artist Bena Jackson, who creates sculptures and installations.

She’s completing a Master of Fine Arts at Massey University Wellington Whiti o Rehua School of Art.

Jackson’s artistic practice considers community actions in public space and urban environments where agency, ingenuity, potential, and tension intersect.

“I’m thrilled to be awarded this year’s scholarship,” she says.

“It really is a special and exciting way to end my year at Massey.

“I want to pass on how grateful and excited I am about the opportunity.

“Thank you to the generous Lou and Iris Fisher Charitable Trust, the team at Te Tuhi, and the people at Massey who’ve helped me along the way.”

The Iris Fisher Scholarship is a national award of $5000 to support an outstanding postgraduate student in the final year of a visual arts/fine arts course of study.

Since 2007, Te Tuhi, in partnership with the Fisher family, has supported the development of New Zealand artists with this annual award.

It’s named for Iris Fisher, a founding member of the Pakuranga Arts Society and the driving force behind the creation of the Fisher Gallery, later to become Te Tuhi.

Her original bequest has fostered contemporary visual arts practice and art education.

It’s envisaged the funds will be put toward fees, materials, travel or a purpose which will enable the recipient to successfully complete their final year of postgraduate study.

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