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Artist Wins Big Competition In NZ With Banana Box

ELAM ART STUDENT CROWNED NEW ZEALAND'S TOP EMERGING ARTIST

Auckland, 29 August 2003 - Glen Hayward of Elam, Auckland has been awarded first prize in the Mazda Emerging Art Awards with his hand carved, painted replica of a Bonita banana box. Glen's prize consists of $10,000 cash and a trip to Dunedin to view the exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite artists, on loan from the UK's Tate Gallery.

Glen's winning entry 'Sunrise and / or Sunet In' was chosen over 147 other works of art submitted by emerging artists throughout New Zealand to the inaugural Mazda Emerging Art Awards and the chance to share in the country's biggest prize pool ever offered to art students ($17,000).

The winning piece was a replica of a Bonita banana cardboard box, hand carved from wood and painted to look just like the real thing - prompting many viewers to think it actually was just a Bonita branded cardboard box he had entered. Judge, John Daly-Peoples described the piece as transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

''This work insists that the mundane offers as much to contemplate as the more animate of objects," said Daly-Peoples. "It has connections back to early twentieth century ready made works of artists such as Duchamp and carvings of medieval times as well as touching on Maori carving traditions."


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Glen Hayward, a post-graduate student at Elam, said that his goal is to take ordinary objects and recreate them as closely as possible through the mediums of carving and painting. He said that his work relies on people's inherent suspicion.

"When they see the cardboard box their first reaction is that it's a fraud, that someone has actually entered a cardboard box. So essentially it's a misdirection, and that only on closer inspection people realize that it has actually been crafted."

When asked what he was going to do with the $10,000 prize money, an overwhelmed Hayward replied, "bank it and then think about it!".

Julian Maher from the Eastern Institute of Technology in the Hawkes Bay was placed second for his piece 'Presence' receiving $5,0000 and the third place winner, Mathew Dowman also from Elam in Auckland received $2,500 for his painting titled 'Situation'.

The three winning pieces will be auctioned off at tonight's Black Tie Gala Dinner, with proceeds going to the Liggins Institute.

The awards competition was staged in conjunction with the annual Artworks 2003 sale and exhibition of more than $2 million worth of art, at the Hilton Hotel. The Mazda Emerging Art Awards were included this year as a valuable opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their talent, raise their profiles and promote their work to a viewing public of art enthusiasts.

The competition was open to 3rd and 4th year and studying post-graduate students from tertiary art institutions nationally. They were invited to enter a painting, drawing, photograph or print for public display and purchase as part of Artworks 2003.

Mazda New Zealand's managing director, Peter Aitken emphasised the need to provide opportunities for young artists to promote their work and demonstrate their talent, talent which he says is too often neglected until they are well past the point of being young or emerging.

Commission from sales of emerging art will be split between; Variety - the Children's Charity, The Gifted Children's Programme, The Spirit of Adventure Trust, The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the Liggins Institute.

Ends.


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