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Arts Awards Light up the Night

Arts Foundation of New Zealand Media Release

Arts Awards Light up the Night
$360,000 received by artists at New Zealand’s first national Arts Awards

Ten prestigious awards totalling $360,000 were presented tonight to New Zealand artists at the inaugural Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards at the Viaduct Events Centre on Auckland’s Waterfront.

The Arts Foundation awards included five $50,000 Laureate Awards, three $25,000 New Generation Awards, the $25,000 Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the first $10,000 Mallinson Rendel Award for children’s book illustrators.

Laureates announced include musician Whirimako Black, photographer Fiona Pardington, writer Emily Perkins, filmmaker Leanne Pooley and choreographer/director Lemi Ponifasio. Musician/artist Sam Hamilton, who is currently on tour with Lemi in Europe, received a New Generation Award alongside photographer Ben Cauchi and playwright Eli Kent. Fiona Pardington’s brother Neil Pardinton received the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the inaugural recipient of the Mallinson Rendel Award is David Elliot.

The five hundred guests at the awards were greeted by a gallery of works by artists previously awarded by the Arts Foundation and artists who have been commissioned by the Arts Foundation for award trophies. Sculpture, paintings and photographs were joined by live theatre and digital sound art installation in an amazing display of New Zealand depth of artistic achievement. The ceremony concluded with 2010 New Generation Award recipient Anna Leese performing Zueignung by Richard Strauss. Anna sung as the curtains of the event centre were draw to reveal performers silhouetted by the nights sky surrounding the venue and then blasted by aviation search lights. The design of the extraordinary finish was donated by Marie Adams and Mike Mizrahi from Inside Out Productions.

Arts Foundation Chair, Fran Ricketts, said “the Arts Awards are an occasion for New Zealand to focus on the national and international achievements of our finest artists. She also said that the Awards were an opportunity to celebrate and grow philanthropic support for the arts. All of our awards are privately funded or secured. We expect to grow the amount of donations to artists presented at these awards through private partnerships and are already in discussion with a number of philanthropists about establishing new awards.”

The Arts Foundation was a winner on the night. Ian Witters, Head of Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand, announced that in addition to naming rights to the New Zealand Arts Awards, Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand will be the Arts Foundation’s Principal Partner. “The Arts Foundation’s investment in talented New Zealanders and bringing us together as a nation, through these awards, is applauded by Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand,” said Ian. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Foundation to show our commitment to New Zealand and the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by the arts.”

In conjunction with the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards the Foundation is producing a series of events on the Auckland Waterfront. The Wynyard Quarter Arts Series features a writers walk, outdoor cinema, a concert in silo park, a series of events in the Stoneleigh ‘pop up’ container bar an information hub where viewers can watch the TVNZ 7 series The Artists and there is a literary sandpit for children featuring the writing of Arts Foundation Icon, Margaret Mahy with illustrations by David Elliot. “The Series is introducing New Zealanders to our finest artists and ensuring public access to the celebration of the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards”, said Fran Ricketts.

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand
A private charitable trust that specialises in philanthropic support for the arts, the Arts Foundation produces a number of awards and programmes to provide financial assistance to artists. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has established New Zealand’s most prestigious multi discipline arts awards. It has acknowledged 130 artists to date and donated $3.5 million to artists. The Foundation has an endowment fund of $6 million and is promised over $15 million in legacies. In 2012 the Arts Foundation will launch a new web platform to raise millions of dollars for the arts from thousands of micro donations located at The Arts Foundation’s website at is an amazing growing resource of information and material about Foundation award recipients.

Arts Foundation Awards are not available by application. The Arts Foundation appoints revolving panels from the arts community to select recipients of its awards without the recipients knowing they are under consideration. News of receiving an Arts Foundation Award is a surprise to the recipient and is life changing.

Laureate Awards
Awarded to artists with established careers and assured potential, the $50,000 Laureate Awards are made to artists practicing in any discipline. The 2011 Laureates were selected by a panel of experts appointed by the Arts Foundation and included John Barnett, Nick Bollinger, Paul Diamond, Sue Paterson and Lara Strongman. The panel’s non-voting chair was Trustee Richard Cathie. The meeting was held at the home of Lesley and Michael Shanahan who lead the Laureate Donors group, which makes donations directly to the Laureate Award programme. The Arts Foundation is very grateful for the generous contributions made toward the Laureate Awards.

New Generation Awards
New Generation artists are hot shots, the ones to watch, and the ones with extraordinary potential. They also display a depth of thinking and consistency that gives their work strength. The New Generation Awards were established in 2006 and were made to five artists every two years. The Awards are now presented annually to three artists. Each recipient receives a $25,000 donation, made possible by the generosity of the New Generation Patrons, and a Christine Cathie designed glasswork. The 2011 New Generation Award recipients were selected by a panel that included Jon Bywater, Lynn Freeman and Gregory O’Brien.

The Marti Friedlander Photographic Award
Marti Friedlander received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award in 2011 for her lifetime achievements as a photographer. Marti’s work is celebrated around the world. Renowned for her love of “the extraordinary in ordinary New Zealand”, Marti, with the support of her husband Gerrard Friedlander, has established this Award to support and acknowledge New Zealand photographers. The Award is presented every two years to a photographer selected by Marti and includes a donation of $25,000 from the Marti and Gerrard Friedlander Charitable Trust.

Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award
Ann Mallinson established the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award with a donation to the Arts Foundation following the sale of Mallinson Rendel, an independent publishing company. The Award will be presented every two years and includes a no-strings cash gift of $10,000 and a certificate designed by Sarah Maxey. The Award is for an illustrator of children’s books with published work to a very high standard and is selected by a voluntary panel. The inaugural panel was Graham Beattie, Joy Cowley and John McIntyre.

Macquarie Private Wealth
Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand operates on a national level offering a broad range of financial advice services, investment opportunities and financial solutions to personal investors. Macquarie established a retail presence in New Zealand in 1985 and has a team of more than 40 financial advisers and support staff, who provide its clients with financial advice and expertise to help create, grow and protect their wealth. Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand is the retail advisory division of Macquarie New Zealand, which is part of Macquarie Group Limited.

2011 Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards Recipients

Whirimako Black (Laureate) is known as Aotearoa’s soul diva. A veteran of eight solo albums and a champion of Te Reo Māori, Whirimako has produced many of her albums in her native tongue and a number of bilingual efforts. She has been featured on numerous collaborative albums alongside some of world music's biggest names. In recent years Whirimako has moved effortlessly into the sultry stylings of the great jazz standards to which she has added her uniquely Māori interpretation, introducing a whole new audience to Maoridom's best kept secret. She has a long list of awards including Best Māori Album and Best Jazz Album at the NZ Music Awards and a coveted Silver Scroll award in song writing for Best Māori Composition. Whirimako has performed around the world as a collaborator and guest artist and on numerous projects, and has performed alongside numerous Kiwi musicians In 2006 Whirimako was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori Music.

Ben Cauchi (New Generation Award Recipient) developed a keen interest in history at an early age, coming to photography in his mid 20's inspired by the work of the medium's pioneers. Since completing his studies in 2000, Ben has become highly recognised both for his ‘wet-plate' processes, and the intriguing photographs he creates. In 2007 he was the Francis Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin - a key year as his work began to shift from the mystical and spiritualist concerns of his earlier work towards more psychological elements. The resulting exhibition was mounted at the Hocken Gallery in Dunedin and also toured to Christchurch Art Gallery. Ben has just completed the Rita Angus Cottage residency in Wellington and has just commenced the McCahon House residency in Auckland. He is also working towards a solo show at City Gallery, Wellington which will open in October 2012. His work is included by every major public collection in New Zealand, as well as the University of Wollongong and the National Gallery of Australia. A significant holding of his work is also housed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

David Elliot (Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award) is an award-winning children's book illustrator and author. He has achieved both national and international success. He has illustrated a wide range of children's books, including poetry, short stories, novels and picture books, working with both New Zealand publishers (most notably, Random House) and also for U.S. publishers, Philomel (Penguin), in New York. In addition to his writing and illustrating, David also teaches art part-time to adults and he is actively engaged in the New Zealand Book Council's Writers in Schools scheme. David has won many national book awards, including being the inaugural recipient of the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award. Internationally, David has illustrated numerous books in the well-known Redwall series and two further books in the Castaways series. Closer to home, David has written and illustrated five picture books of his own and collaborated with Margaret Mahy on both The Word Witch (2010) and this year's New Zealand Post Children's Book of the Year Award winner, The Moon and Farmer McPhee (2011). He has also exhibited widely throughout New Zealand.

Sam Hamilton (New Generation Award Recipient) is an inter-disciplinary artist, mostly known for his music - which in contrast to a busy background in sound art, experimental music, performance and composition, now borders the spheres of ‘popular’ - he indulges more in the simple, intrinsically enjoyable magic of making fun. His practice is grounded by a continued pursuit of contemporary musical exploration and the conscious investigation and understanding of the biological and sociological implications, applications and mechanics of music in 21st century culture. His practice includes releasing records and CD’s, traversing the Amazon rain forest with microphones, exhibiting sound works in from Christchurch to New York City, scoring soundtracks for film and dance, undertaking residencies and workshops, and touring and performing throughout the USA, Europe, South America and Australasia in venues ranging from giant theatres and festivals to warehouse parties, squat basements and outdoor BBQ garden picnics with cake. Sam is also known for his experimental film and video, having presented work with the on-going expanded cinema project The Parasitic Fantasy Band. He has presented live film works throughout Australia, USA and Germany and produced stand-alone films and video works both with the Parasitic Fantasy Band as well as under his own name. When in New Zealand, Sam has been independently active organising events, programmes and festivals.

Eli Kent (New Generation Award Recipient) is a playwright whose first full length play Rubber Turkey, written when he was 19, earned him the Peter Harcourt Award for Outstanding New Playwright of the Year at the 2008 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. His third play The Intricate Art of Actually Caring won "Best Theatre" in the NZ Fringe Festival 2009, The Montana Award for Most Original Production at the 2009 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and was nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand play and Production of the Year. It has since had two return seasons in Wellington, performed in Auckland as part of the Stamp Festival and the Christchurch, Nelson and Hamilton Arts Festivals, and will be part of 2012 Arts on Tour. His play Thinning premiered at the Young and Hungry Festival in Auckland and Wellington and was awarded The Bruce Mason Award. His play Black Confetti was work-shopped in 2011 as part of Auckland Theatre Company's The Next Stage and will premiere in Auckland in 2012. Eli has also completed his first short film project, has participated in the inaugural South Pacific Pictures Emerging Writers Programme, performed as an actor in numerous theatre and film projects, and has had poetry published in Landfall and The Lumiere Reader. He is developing two new works with his company The PlayGround Collective and Long Cloud Youth Theatre.

Fiona Pardington (Laureate) is one of New Zealand’s foremost photographers. She has been a Moet et Chandon Fellow, a Frances Hodgkins Fellow for two consecutive years at the University of Otago, a recipient of an Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Fellowship, a Ngai Tahu residency, and in 2011 was nominated as a Musee du Quai Branly Laureate. In 2007, to celebrate the opening of the Musée du Quai Branly, a suite of nine photographs from her series of hei tiki was gifted to the Quai Branly by the New Zealand Government. Pardington has been included in numerous international exhibitions. In 2010 she was one of the artists selected to represent New Zealand at the 17th Biennale of Sydney where her works were exhibited in a dedicated room at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Other recent exhibitions include: 21st Century: Art in the First Decade at the Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; along with a solo show in New York at the highly regarded Association of International Art Dealers (AIPAD) exhibition. In 2012 her work will be shown at Ukraine biennale. Fiona has also been the subject of significant solo exhibitions in New Zealand Public Galleries. Fiona Pardington: The Pressure of Sunlight Falling, was shown at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth earlier this year and is now on display at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Fiona’s main areas of interest have been the history of the photographic image and the nature of the relationship between the photographer and the subject. She has explored themes of medical and psychoanalytical imagery, and more recently taonga (treasured objects) within museums that relate to her Maori heritage.

Neil Pardington's (Marti Friedlander Photographic Award) practice has been described as ‘straight photography with a twist’. He works in the space between documentary photography – where the defining principle is to capture the truth about the world – and conceptual photography, which contends that such a truth can never really be depicted. Working in City Group, Neil made the experimental films Pier, and North-South Project, which was selected for the National Art Gallery’s 1986 survey exhibition Content/Context. In 1994 Neil’s short film The Dig was selected for Un Certain Regard, Cannes International Film Festival. In 2002 he produced the feature film For Good. In 2003 he immersed himself in the world of hospitals and medical museums. The work that resulted from this, The Clinic, was featured in two major survey exhibitions of New Zealand art – The 2nd Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery and Telecom Prospect 2004, City Gallery Wellington. His following project The Vault – shot in museum and art gallery storerooms – was developed into a major touring exhibition and publication by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Neil’s career as a photographer has developed alongside his work as a designer, for which he is the recipient of numerous awards. He currently divides his time between his art practice and his role as a creative director of the design agency Base Two.

Emily Perkins (Laureate) is a writer of award winning novels and short fiction. Her wider involvement with the literary world includes teaching creative writing at The University of Auckland, and presenting TVNZ 7's books programme The Good Word. Emily moved to London in 1993, where she completed the stories that make up Not Her Real Name. The collection was awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (UK) and the Montana First Book of Fiction Award (NZ). From 1996 Emily worked as fulltime on prose fiction, and long-running columns, book reviews and essays for major British daily papers and other publications, publishing her first novel, Leave Before You Go in 1998. In 1999 she was named as one of ‘21 Writers for the 21st Century' by the Observer, and as ‘One of Britain's Most Exciting Young Writers' by the Sunday Times. She has also been named as one of 21 writers selected by The Orange Prize Committee's ‘Orange Futures' focus, and as one of the NZ Listener's 10 Best New Zealand Novelists Under 40. She returned to New Zealand in 2005, and was the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellow in 2006. Novel About My Wife was awarded the 2008 Believer Book Award (US) and the Medal for Fiction at the Montana NZ Book Awards 2009. Her novel The Forrests, will be published in May 2012 by Bloomsbury. She is a lecturer at The University of Auckland, where her research interests include creative prose writing and contemporary NZ literature. She is working on a screenplay collaboration and a new novel.

Lemi Ponifasio (Laureate), choreographer/director, and founder and director of MAU. Produced internationally, Lemi’s epic productions provoke controversy and attention. His work has been called genius, powerful, frightening, beautiful and inspirational. Originally from Samoa, Lemi Ponifasio is today a leading theatre artist internationally. He established MAU in 1995 as the name for his work and platform for critical reflection and creativity with artists, scholars, activists, intellectuals and community leaders; MAU meaning a declaration to the truth of a matter, or revolution, as an effort to transform. Lemi presents his work at major festivals and theatres internationally including Theatre de la Ville Paris, Holland Festival, Southbank Centre London, the Venice Biennale, the Lincoln Center New York, Edinburgh International Festival and also throughout the Pacific Islands. Known for his radical approach to contemporary theatre, Ponifasio's ceremonial visual stagings intersect and transcend conventional ideas of theatre, dance and civic activism. Without ingratiating to Western aesthetics or South Pacific clichés, his works appropriate states of awareness; hauntingly beautiful and unrelentingly disturbing, they address our past, present and future. Globally, Lemi Ponifasio's epic productions such as Tempest, Le Savali, Birds With Skymirrors, Requiem and Paradise have provoked controversy and attention. Birds With Skymirrors will be performed at the 2012 International Arts Festival, in Wellington.

Leanne Pooley’s (Laureate) multi-award winning films examine stories that resonate with both New Zealand and international audiences. Born and raised in Canada, Leanne immigrated to New Zealand in the mid-1980s and began working in the television industry. In 1990 she began directing at TVNZ before moving to England where she made documentaries for Britain's major television companies as well as PBS in America. She returned to NZ in 1997 and established the production company Spacific Films. Her Spacific Films productions include, Relative Guilt “Best Documentary”1999 Qantas Media Awards, Haunting Douglas, “Best Director” 2005 NZ Screen Awards and The Promise “Best Documentary” 2006 NZ Screen Awards. In 2009 Leanne's Topp Twins-Untouchable Girls won 21 International Awards at film festivals around the world and earned $2,000,000 at the box office making it the most successful documentary in New Zealand history. Leanne has served as a judge for The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; EMMY Awards. She has taught documentary at numerous film schools around the world. She is currently directing Shackleton's Captain about Frank Worsley, captain of Shackleton's Endurance, and is producing the documentary Finding Mercy a film about Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

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