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Mt Eden Young Artists Awards 2004

31 August 2004

Mt Eden Young Artists Awards 2004

Continuing their support of young artists in their community, the Mt Eden charitable arts trust Eden Arts, presented the 2004 Mt Eden Young Artists Awards on Sunday 29 August at 40 George St, Mt Eden. Judged this year by artist and gallery director Mary-Louise Browne, the awards reflect Eden Arts’ philosophy of encouraging the creative talent in the area well served for artistic talent over the years. Present at the awards were long time Mt Eden artists Peter and Sylivia Siddell, Stanley Palmer, John Lyall and others all of whom lent their support to the youngsters in the crowd.

Announcing the winners, Mary- Louise Browne offered insightful quotes to urge the young artists to continue on the path of creative discovery. She gave the $3000 overall award to Elam student Conor Clarke whose photoshop image combined elements of the natural landscape, the artificial, manicured garden and the picket fence border. The picket fence acted as a defensive border, acted indeed as a barrier of strident bars. So what was it a barrier between? One of the one hand, there is the natural ebb and flow of the tide at Clark’s Beach south of Auckland. On the other, the clipped precision of a manufactured, planned and precise garden. There is little interaction between the two zones – one natural, one artificial, one of this place Aotearoa, one transplanted from another locality.

Awarded the category prizes of $1000 each were Jade Pardy in the mixed media category for her two fabric and stitched shields that declared, like a personal diary entry, the woes of a love lost; Mat Riot in the photography/digital image category for his work focussing on internet dating and the dilemmas of presenting odd personality types as stereotypical enticements in the game of love and attraction.

Anya Henis was awarded the prize in the painting category for her organically rambling painting of horses, cartoon characters and intermingled forms that morph into a dreamscape of interconnected images; Helen Broome in the younger artist category for her in depth portrait studies of artist Alistair Nesbitt-Smith and her video that portrays a diver moving through the crowds of Queen St kitted up in an old style diving suit and entering, at one stage, into the glass diving bell ( the lift) at the Hoyts Cinema Complex downtown. The artist’s ring-ins add to the underwater scene by ‘swimming along’ in the crowd past the disorientated diver.

Fiona Connor took the prize in the sculpture/video section for her video Rock Garden, which documents many rock gardens – natural and artificial in both urban and rural settings.

It is as if the rocks exploded out of Maungawhau/Mt Eden and over time have found themselves in increasingly bizarre situations – some have been lucky and have transplanted to natural windswept cliffs amongst friendly wind swept grasses and the rush of the ocean below. Others haven’t fared so well- being taken to act as artificial bit players in a bad taste rockery with other, smoother stones.

Others have succumbed to the indecency of the rock garden in a fast food restaurant, or have been locked away inside a glass tower’s foyer. Some have been given grand majestic settings, some forgotten on the side of the road. Some forced to act as sentinels in front of fifties flats, some sitting comfortably in a loved front garden.


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