Entries open for estuary art awards

PEOPLE: Last year’s winner was Emily Parr, whose interest in environmental issues and politics motivated her to enter. Photo supplied.

Entries are now open to the Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 2017.

Hosted at Malcolm Smith Gallery in Howick, the Estuary Art and Ecology Prize is now in its 11th year and is the only contemporary art prize in Aotearoa New Zealand with ecology at its core.

Artists are invited to research and respond to the Tamaki Estuary, to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway and encourage action against its pollution. With a total prize pool of $8300, the winning artworks will be intelligent and innovative responses to ecology in the field of contemporary art.

This year’s judge is Ane Tonga, artist and Lead Exhibitions Curator at Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa.

She has extensive experience at various contemporary art institutions across New Zealand and will also bring a unique perspective to this year’s Awards through her connection to the area.

“The Uxbridge Arts & Culture and the Estuary Art Awards hold a personal significance to me, not only as a curator, but as someone who was born and raised in east Auckland.

“I’m excited at the prospect of judging these art awards and look forward to seeing how artists respond and reinterpret ecological concerns of Tamaki Estuary.”

The opening of the exhibition of finalists and presentation of the awards will be on Saturday June 10. Cash prizes, funded by the Howick Local Board, will be awarded to first and second place winners. Two merit awards, supported by Gordon Harris, will also be presented. A People’s Choice Award is decided through a public vote during the exhibition.

Entries close Sunday April 30.

Last year’s winner was Emily Parr with the video work Te Wai Mokoia.

Emily, from Meadowbank, is a graduate of the Elam School of Fine Arts.  She responded to the competition’s theme by researching the relationships between people, their land, and social political frameworks.

Her work Te Wai Mokoia won the $5000 first prize and used the medium of film to probe into the eviction of thousands of state housing tenants in Glen Innes.