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Postman brings great news in IHC Art Awards

l-r Andrew Martin, Phillip Sisam and Amanda Brennan

Media release

28 August 2014

Postman brings great news in IHC Art Awards

Hawkes Bay artist Phillip Sisam has won first prize in the IHC Art Awards 2014 with his painting Postman Pat after Van Gogh.

Judges selected his watercolour pastel work from more than 600 entries by New Zealand artists. Phillip, who describes the subject of his painting as “a strong man” has been studying the work of Dutch painter Van Gogh, and put his own spin on a series of paintings by Van Gogh of a postman.

Phillip, from Clive, was presented with the top prize of $5000 at an awards ceremony and live auction at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington tonight (Thursday 28 August).

Clive has turned out to be a hothouse for art this year – Phillip is one of three local artists who reached the finals of the IHC Art Awards.

Judge Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, co-head of WORLD fashion, says: “This art piece is sheer genius in having the children's character 'Postman Pat' sitting in a pose reminiscent of Van Gogh. The humour and intelligence of the whole idea shows us just how talented these artists are – standout, completely standout.”

Second place and $2000 went to Andrew Martin, of Rangiora, for his appealing pastel drawing of Sasha, a dog swimming at Sumner Beach. Denise was thrilled with the drawing, describing it as “a gorgeous portrait of an obviously very much-loved dog, beautifully executed in such detail. The warmth from this just resonates. The dog looks so lifelike, you almost want to reach out and pat her!”

Third prize and $1000 went to Amanda Brennan of Auckland for Hospital Ship. The work done in watercolours and cotton thread depicted a First World War hospital ship. It is timely in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the start of that war.

Boh Runga, musician and jewellery artist, found it difficult to choose the winners. “But the smile-inducing quirkiness of Phillip Sisam's Van Gogh Postman Pat, the charm of Andrew Martin's lovely pup Sasha and the intricate detail of Amanda Brennan's Hospital Ship won me over."

The winners were picked from the top 30 entries submitted to regional competitions in July.

Jayne Bruce, of Masterton, won the People's Choice Award and $1000 with her oil painting Circles in Rainbow Land. Jayne says: “I would like to live in Rainbow Land and paint and paint and paint.”

The IHC Art Awards started in 2004 to showcase the talents of people with intellectual disabilities. They are open to all New Zealanders 13 years and over with an intellectual disability. The artists receive 100 percent of the sale price for their works.

The art works can be viewed on

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