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2012 Creative Arts Hall of Fame inductees announced

November 5, 2012

2012 Creative Arts Hall of Fame inductees announced

A New Zealander who now helps lead Nike’s footwear design, an Arts Foundation Laureate and one of the country’s most prolific artist/sculptors will be inducted into Massey’s College of Creative Arts Hall of Fame next month.

Matt Holmes, Julia Morison and Guy Ngan will attend a gala dinner in their honour in Wellington on Friday November 23. An additional special announcement will be made on the night.

Mr Holmes is Creative Director of Innovation, Global Footwear at Nike. Ms Morison exhibits extensively here and overseas, working in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture and installation. Mr Ngan, now aged 86, is responsible for numerous public artworks as well as a large body of sculpture, design, painting, drawing, interior architecture and printmaking produced over a career that has spanned almost 70 years so far.

Instigated in 2007, the College of Creative Arts Hall of Fame recognises past staff and students of the college and its forerunner institutions, the Wellington Technical College School of Art and the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand's economy, reputation and national identity through art and design. Previous inductees include Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop, sculptor Len Lye, and fashion designer Kate Sylvester.

“Design has not only been vital to financial success at Nike, but has changed how people live and define themselves. We are tremendously proud of Matt’s contribution. Similarly, Julia and Guy have shaped the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us. All New Zealanders should celebrate their contribution,” says Associate Professor Claire Robinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Creative Arts.

Matt Holmes studied industrial design at the School of Design from 1987 – 1990, a time when gurus like Mark Pennington, Leong Yap and Noel Brenner were reinvigorating the study of design through thorough research and a focus on ergonomics. His first footwear designs were for sporting mates at the design school.

His first job was with Fisher & Paykel, during a time when the firm was the launch pad for many top emerging designers from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, including Mark Elmore. Holmes is now the Creative Director of Innovation, Global Footwear for sports apparel giant Nike in Portland Oregon, where he has worked for more than 12 years.

Julia Morison completed a Diploma in Graphic Design at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design in 1972, then an Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1975.

Morison works in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture and installation, using systems of knowledge such as Hermeticism, the Kabbalah and alchemy to produce work that is described as ambiguous and mystical. She has exhibited extensively within New Zealand and internationally and has been the recipient of many key awards, grants and residencies. Morison was named New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2005 and was the focus of a significant survey exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2006.

Guy Ngan was born in Wellington in 1926 to Chinese parents. He spent his childhood in China before returning in 1938. He attended night classes at the Wellington Technical College Art School from 1943 – 46, learning woodcarving and sculpture and rubbing shoulders with fellow students Gordon Walters, Theo Schoon and Fred Staub.

He then studied at the prestigious RCA (Royal College of Art) and Goldsmiths College in London before returning to New Zealand to be the public art works consultant at the Ministry of Works and later Stephenson & Turner Architects. This was a time of prolific public and commercial building, when integrating art ‘within’ architecture was paramount. Ngan was also the director of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts for a decade (1976 –1986).

Now aged 86, Ngan has been one of New Zealand’s most prolific artists, ranging across architectural and freestanding sculpture, design, painting, drawing, interior architecture and printmaking. Many of his artworks are familiar to the public, even if they are not aware of the identity of the artist. His large-scale public works in Wellington, for instance, include the façade sculpture on the Reserve Bank, the concrete relief on the Archives Building and the Beehive tapestry.

Previous inductees
Grant Alexander – graphic designer
Joseph Churchward – typographer
Collette Dinnigan – fashion designer
John Drawbridge – painter and printmaker
Mark Elmore – product designer
Fane Flaws – artist and designer
Len Lye – sculptor
Manos Nathan – ceramicist
Avis Higgs – textile designer
Mark Pennington – industrial designer
Arthur D Riley – design school founder
Kate Sylvester – fashion designer
Rebecca Taylor – fashion designer
Sir Richard Taylor – special effects supervisor
Jane Ussher – photographer
Gordon Walters – artist and graphic designer


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