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Artists set to WOW® audiences

Artists set to WOW® audiences

Entrants line up in Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award

Six leading artists from the Hawke’s Bay, Golden Bay, Auckland and Wellington are entrants in the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award, a feature of the 2004 Montana World of Wearable Art™ Awards to be held in Nelson in September.

The entrants are Susan Holmes (Auckland), Jeff Thomson (Auckland), Sue Prescott (Wellington), Simon Hames (Wellington), Louise Ludlow (Napier) and Debra Price (Golden Bay). They are all either previous winners of the Supreme WOW™ Award or previous judges, and were invited to enter the 2004 Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award.

This is the second Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award, set up last year to celebrate excellence and provide a creative platform for established professional artists. The winner receives $7500 and a trophy. There is also a $2000 prize for a highly commended entry. Last year’s winner was Nelson designer Letty MacPhedran with her winning entry Yoi Yasa. Highly commended was Susan Holmes with her entry, Blue Lagoon.

Susan Holmes is back again this year, taking up the challenge offered by this year’s theme of “From impressionism to surrealism”.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Elizabeth Kerr said the inaugural Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award was a great success. “I’m looking forward to seeing how this year’s entrants have interpreted the theme and the wonderful, innovative creations it will have inspired.”

Susan Holmes, Auckland: Susan Holmes has exhibited widely both in New Zealand and overseas, and has received many awards. She’s been entering the Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards since 1990 and in 1996 won the Supreme WOW® Award with her creation Dragon Fish. She was also a judge in 1991 and 1997. She has made thousands of dyed and hand-printed garments since the early 1970s. Over the past ten years, inspired by the WOW® Awards, her pieces have become more sculptural and expressive.

Jeff Thomson, Auckland: Jeff Thomson was a judge in last year’s Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards. Along with his entry in the Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award, four of his new works will be exhibited during the show. Best known for his work in corrugated iron, Thomson is represented in major public institutions throughout New Zealand, Australia and Germany. A show of his work has been touring Germany since 1997 and will culminate in a final exhibition in Berlin this September. His work will also be represented by Bowen Galleries, with Creative New Zealand support, at the Melbourne Contemporary Art Fair in late September.

Louise Ludlow, Napier: Louise Ludlow and her daughter-in-law, Sonia Moyes, won the Supreme WOW® Award in 2000 with their copper creation entitled Bodicea. A sculptor for the past 15 years, Ludlow won the Norsewear Award in 1991 and her work has featured in numerous exhibitions throughout New Zealand. She works with painted steel and copper to create large-scale sculptures. Along with Sonia Moyes and son Eugene Bradley, she recently held an exhibition of new work at the Wine Country Gallery in Havelock North. Although she enjoys collaborating with other artists, her entry into 2004 Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award is a solo creation.

Debra Price, Golden Bay: Debra Price has exhibited her work widely in New Zealand over the past 15 years and won many awards. This includes the Creative Design Excellence Award in the 1994 WOW® Awards with Siren Song and the 1995 Supreme WOW® Award with Moko, a garment made entirely in harakeke (New Zealand flax). Debra has been entering the WOW® Awards since 1990, has earned placings in various sections and says she found the theme of this year’s Creative New Zealand Artistic Excellence Award irresistible. She has diplomas in both horticulture and handwoven textiles and has always been fascinated by plants and the structure of textiles.

Simon Hames, Wellington: Simon Hames worked on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy as a prop maker but is best known to WOW® audiences as the creator of the 1999 Supreme Award winner, Superminx, the mischievous pair of opossum “chairs”. A former student of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Hames worked in the art department of the WOW® Awards and also created small furniture pieces before coming to Wellington. He is currently working on the King Kong film as a prop maker. Hames is also one of the judges in the Montana WearableArt™ Awards and is therefore unable to win a prize.

Sue Prescott, Wellington: Sue Prescott was a WOW® judge in 1997 and has been placed three times in award sections. A fashion design lecturer at Massey University, Wellington, she has her own fashion label. She has worked as a costume designer for six opera productions in New Zealand, including La Traviata, Nabucco, Carmen and The Marriage of Figaro. English-born, she came to New Zealand in 1992 to take up a position at the Wanganui Polytechnic. She has worked as an illustrator in New York and also worked with textiles in India and Pakistan. Both experiences, she says, have influenced her subsequent work.

The judges of the 2004 Montana World of WearableArt™ Awards are Sally Burton, Dan Hennah, Simon Hames and Margarita Robertson. The event opens at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson on 10 September with shows also on 11 and 12 September, and 16 – 19 September.

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