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Award offers Travel Grant of $5000

Award offers Travel Grant of $5000

Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award Launched for 2006

The Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award, in partnership with the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand, is calling for entries for the 2006 Award.

The Award is for all contemporary New Zealand and Pacific Island artists whose work reflects a Pacific influence.

The recipient of the Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award will receive a travel grant of $5000, supporting the artist to develop, investigate and research a project.

The closing date for entering portfolios is Friday 5 October.

The award is open to artists working in the following categories: photography, tapa/textiles, installation, multi-media, printmaking, sculpture, jewellery, painting, weaving and carving.

Applicants are artists based either in New Zealand or the following Island nations: Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu.

Martin Hughes Architecture Interiors, based in Auckland, established the award in 2000 and previous winners are Andy Leleisiuao, Niki Hastings-McFall, Sheyne Tuffery, Ross T. Smith, carver Tui Hobson and painter Zarahn Southon in 2006.

Opening the Award to Pacific artists based in their home nations is a new opportunity that was introduced last year, the first year of the partnership between Martin Hughes and Creative New Zealand.

The vision for the Award is that it highlights the contemporary adaptation of pacific influences, said John Hughes of Martin Hughes.

The development of the Art Award into an Award that fully embraces the Pacific is also what we had envisaged when we created the Award in 2000, continued John Hughes of Martin Hughes, and so many of the artists from this part of the world - whether Polynesian, Maori or of various European or Asian backgrounds - are influenced in many and subtle ways by their place in the Pacific so it makes the award opportunity available to many artists.

Background and comments on Winner of 2005 Award - Painter Zarahn Southon

Zarahn's award winning work is an investigation of New Zealand history through his whakapapa in New Zealand and Tufuiopa village, Samoa where his grandfather was born. The influences of whanau and marae support played a pivotal role in Zarahn choosing to represent the stories he discovered by adopting and adapting the tradition of European historical and figurative painting

His current work is an artistic extension of both contemporary issues of self-identity and representation of historical figures and events.

In studying classical painting he established a close connection with the masters of the grand narrative baroque and rococo tradition and 19th century New Zealand painting that represented colonization of an indigenous culture.

The Martin Hughes Award gave him the opportunity to study classicism abroad at an intense three months course at the internationally well-known Angel Academy in Florence focusing on improving his drawing and painting.

Commenting on the impact of the Award Zarahn said: Winning the Martin Hughes Award was excellent in that it provided me with funds to travel and study in Italy.

Through the experience of Italian Culture, Art and Architecture my own art has taken a positive shift. An award such as this truly recognises the Pacific influence here in New Zealand on art and society as a whole.

For 2006 Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award and criteria, application requirements and an application form: visit the resources section of Creative New Zealand's website (


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