Red Bull Creative Contest 2001
Selecting the Winners
23 July, 2001
Accessible, zany, expressive, expansive, inventive, engaging and urban. These were just some of the comments from a respected panel of judges making the final decision on more than 100 entries to New Zealand’s first Red Bull Creative Contest. The most common phrase in the end, however, was: ‘How do we agree on a winner?’.
The Red Bull Creative Contest was a nationwide call for people to make something creative using the Red Bull can as inspiration. Celebrated artists, designers, youngsters and first-time exhibitors responded with works as varied as painting, graffiti, sculpture, lighting, jewellery, photography, clothing and furniture. Some pieces had taken weeks to craft while others were simple, clever ideas.
After two weeks of public voting by an estimated 10,000 visitors to the specially created exhibition gallery on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd, winners were announced at a special closing party on the weekend (July 21/22). Visitors were each given the opportunity to vote for their favourite creations, and these public votes gave the panel a list of 10 finalists.
The judging panel
Allan Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art, Auckland City Art Gallery.
Richard Priest, Architect.
Elisabeth Findlay, Zambesi designer
Rachel Churchward, Fashion editor
Peter Urlich, Entertainer
Terry York, Red Bull Creative Contest Curator
Gavin Pook, Red Bull Brand Manager
Judges said the diversity and calibre of entries made the task enjoyable - but extremely difficult. Given the calibre of entries, a decision was soon made to split the 3rd prize of $4,000 into four separate prizes of $1,000 each and judges began the task.
"The first thing to say is how much I enjoyed the range of work submitted for the competition," said Auckland City Art Gallery curator Allan Smith. "The diversity, detail and whimsicality expressed in the entries suggested that most entrants had invested a great deal of time, care and humour."
Smith says the diversity of entries was reflected in the way each judge interpreted the set criteria of ‘creativity’ in terms of imagination, presentation, concept and content. "Because there were so many works which stood out as worthy of special mention, it was very difficult for the judges to arrive at a consensus for their order of merit.
"But, if competitions are doing their job well, they stimulate controversy and generate discussion – and everyone gets the chance to judge the judges! The list of six winners, including four at 3rd equal, gives a fair picture of the variety and energy of this exhibition and also pits mature artists against innovative newcomers."
Creative contest curator Terry York said the eventual winner was bold and truly different. "The judges were looking for that ‘wow’ factor – something that engaged you. I think if you look at the winner, it went a different direction and seemed to get out of the straight-jacket."
He adds: "Ultimately it was about participation. Everyone had the opportunity to exhibit works to thousands of people and that’s what counts. For many entrants it was their first experience as an artist, and hopefully they’ll turn out be just that."
1st Place – Glen Heenan and Yasmin Farry, "Greatest Hits"
2nd Place – David Brumby and Rachel Lovelace, "Mona Lisa"
3rd Equal – Stephen Green, "IncREDiBULL Hulk"
3rd Equal – Michael Tuffery, "Bull"
3rd Equal – Raoul Cotter, "Experiment"
3rd Equal – Elliot O’Donnell, Untitled (graffiti)
public vote finalists (in no order)
Red Bull Rocket – Kristina Ball
Blue Marlin – Mark Davis
IncREDiBULL Hulk – Stephen Green
Mona Lisa – David Brumby and Rachel Lovelace
Mind Games – Lee MacMillan
Bull – Michael Tuffery
Greatest Hits – Glen Heenan and Yasmin Farry
Untitled (Graffiti) – Elliot O’Donnell
Music Box - Rohmana
Experiment – Raoul Cotter
First prize - Trip to the Gaudi Art Museum in Barcelona.
Second prize - Trip to the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Third prize - $4000 cash, divided into 4 prizes of $1,000 each.