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A New Zealand take on the kimono


To: Chief Reporters/Arts Reporters

Date: 11 March 2003

No of pages: 2

A New Zealand take
on the kimono
Creative New Zealand sponsors new award in
Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards

Kimonos made from corrugated iron, canvas or harekeke are all possibilities in the inaugural Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award, a new feature in the 2003 Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards to be held in Nelson in September.

This year’s theme for the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award is “re-interpreting the kimono”. Both the new award and its theme have proved “irresistible” for Auckland artist Susan Holmes. She has been entering the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards since 1994 and in 1996 won the Supreme WOW Award with her creation Dragon Fish.

“The new award is an irresistible opportunity for senior artists to acquit themselves among their peers,” she says. “Knowing that artists like Terry Stringer and Zandra Rhodes are interested in entering is very enticing.

“I also love Japanese culture and so the theme itself is another appealing factor. It’s an interesting idea to take the traditional form of the kimono and ask us to use all our inventiveness and experience to create a satisfying artwork. The kimono is a very controlled, light garment but it’s not if you make it out of corrugated iron.”

Previous winners of the Supreme WOW Award, previous judges and senior practising artists have been invited to enter the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award, which will be part of the existing Historic Section showcasing previous Supreme Award winners.

Elizabeth Kerr, Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand, said the idea for the new award evolved from research undertaken by the World of WearableArt™ Ltd, which indicated a need for an award focussing on excellence at the senior WearableArt level.

“This concept appealed to Creative New Zealand because it acknowledges artistic excellence and provides opportunities for senior artists,” she said. “We are very excited about our new partnership with the World of WearableArt.”

Miss Kerr said that Suzie Moncrieff had created a uniquely New Zealand event, along with the World of WearableArt complex. They were both major cultural tourism attractions for the Nelson region and for New Zealand.

In its first year, the WOW complex attracted 56,000 visitors through its doors. And every year, more than 15,000 New Zealanders, international visitors and media flock to Nelson to attend the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards. Tickets for this year’s event (12-14 September and 19 – 21 September) went on sale at the beginning of March and are selling fast.

Suzie Moncrieff, Director of the World of WearableArt™ Ltd, said that the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award provided senior practising artists with another goal to strive for.

“It represents a significant step forward in the journey of the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards and we’re delighted that Creative New Zealand has come on board to sponsor this new award,” she said.

The winner of the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award receives $7500 and a trophy. There is also a $2000 prize for a highly commended entry.

As for Susan Holmes, her head is already brimming with ideas about re-interpreting the kimono.

“I would still be making nice dresses for mothers of the bride if it weren’t for WOW,” she says. “Suzie Moncrieff gives us permission to go over the top and express ourselves.

“When I first entered the WOW Awards I wanted to dazzle the audience and win. Now, I’m more interested in expressing myself, having fun and using WearableArt as my sculptural medium.”


For more information please contact:
Undine Marshfield
Media and Communications Adviser
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0725

Iona McNaughton
Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0715

© Scoop Media

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