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The National Drawing Award 2008


ARTSPACE, The Physics Room and Enjoy Public Art Gallery are pleased to announce that Auckland based artist John Ward Knox is the winner of the National Drawing Award 2008.

John Ward Knox’s drawing entitled ‘myrrh’, was selected as the winner out of 365 drawings by former ARTSPACE Director Brian Butler, Director of The Physics Room, Kate Montgomery and Curator and Manager of Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Siv B. Fjærestad.

The judges said:

“John Ward Knox’s drawing entitled ‘myrrh’ is full of mystery and executed with the utmost delicacy. He has produced a work worthy of distinction. The exquisitely rendered tiny marks create a haze or curtain, a visual play where a scene is both concealed and revealed.”

The winning drawing was one that all three selectors kept returning to: “It called us back, we were haunted by its narrative qualities, its sense of cinematic nostalgia. Like a fragment of time, it was rich with associations.”

The 2008 winner will be announced at the ARTSPACE opening on 28 November at 6:30pm by incoming ARTSPACE Director Emma Bugden and Chris Knox, New Zealand musician, comic strip artist and presenter of the television programme New Artland. Quick-witted observers will also spot that Chris is, in fact, John’s father. The total prize pack accompanying the National Drawing Award trophy includes a $4000 cash prize from RVCA and a $300 credit at Gordon Harris art supplies.

Auckland based artist John Ward Knox has just presented his final submission towards a MFA at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. He is a member of the artist-run space, Newcall. He was part of the annual New Artists Show, You Are Here at ARTSPACE in 2008, and recently exhibited at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth.

The judges also chose two Merit Award drawings by Ruth Cleland and Peter Madden: “The distinction of merit was given to these two accomplished artists who are both pushing the boundaries of current drawing practice in New Zealand.” The recipients of the judged awards will also have the opportunity to make a t-shirt with RVCA, an international apparel brand that is engaged with music and art production at the core of its philosophy. The winner will develop a publication co-produced by the three participating galleries.

With an open call for entries, the National Drawing Award creates an opportunity for a broad range of people to participate, with all drawings being exhibited at ARTSPACE, The Physics Room and Enjoy Public Art Gallery. The People’s Choice Award, which will be announced on 7 February 2009 at The Physics Room, offers a chance for visitors to the exhibition to have an active role in judging part of the competition by popular vote.

Exhibition dates: 29 November–20 December 2008
Opening: Friday 28 November 2008, 6pm, Jury prizes announced

The Physics Room
Exhibition dates: 21 January–7 February 2009
Closing Party: Saturday 7 February 2009, 6pm, People’s Choice Award announced

Enjoy Public Art Gallery
Exhibition dates: 21 February–14 March 2009
Opening: Friday 20 February 2009

For further information on this exhibition please contact The Physics Room on +64 3 379 5583 or email

ARTSPACE, The Physics Room and Enjoy Public Art Gallery receive major funding from Creative New Zealand.

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