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Myah Flynn Wins NZ's Biggest Student Art Prize

Media Release
26 August 2008

Myah Flynn Wins Country’s Biggest Student Art Prize

Myah Flynn, a 23-year-old Master of Design student at UNITEC Institute of Technology, has been awarded first prize at the sixth national Mazda Emerging Artist Award, winning $10,000 cash.

The Waterview, Auckland resident was chosen as the Mazda Emerging Artist of the year over 57 other Fine Art students from throughout New Zealand.

Her untitled winning piece was described by judge and art critic for the National Business Review John Daly-Peoples as “a work which could have come from the walls or ceiling of a grand eighteenth century palace full of classical nymphs, gods and goddesses”.

Flynn’s said “The piece took me one month to paint but a lot of research went in prior to this. I’m a romantic at heart and am really inspired by eighteenth and nineteenth century classical art.”

Winning the Mazda Emerging Artist Award is only the beginning for Flynn. “I’m working on an exhibition which I hope to do early next year and am extremely lucky to have some supportive patrons who I work with closely.”

Judge Daly-Peoples said Flynn has produced an enigmatic and edgy piece of art. “The work is bound together with luscious colours which are abstract gestured sweeps of the clouds or the gods.”

Second place and a cheque for $5,000 went to Three Kings, Auckland, resident Ella Hoeflich, a Fine Art year student at Manukau Institute of Technology’s School of Visual Art for her piece ‘123… Paint’.

Third place and a cheque for $2,500 was awarded to Leila Ataya, a Post Graduate student at Elam School of Fine Arts, for her piece ‘On’.

Andrew Clearwater, managing director of Mazda New Zealand Ltd, said it was important to continue to encourage New Zealand’s emerging talent.

“Since we instigated these awards in 2003, over 750 students have taken the opportunity to enter the Mazda Emerging Artist Awards and for a number it has kick started their careers.”

“Last year’s winner Alexander Bartleet is now looking to hold his first exhibition later this year and is set to have his art featured in a new book on 100 of New Zealand’s emerging artists.”

The winners were presented with their cheques at an awards ceremony held at the exhibition yesterday. The emerging art exhibition will run for a week as part of the wider Artworks event being held at the Hilton, Auckland until 30 September.

The three winning pieces will be auctioned off at the Patrons Black Tie Dinner on Thursday evening with proceeds going to the Mazda Foundation – Mazda New Zealand’s charitable arm. The remainder of emerging art work will be on display and available for the public to purchase at Artworks.


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