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Brave partnership awarded

23 September 2004

Brave partnership awarded

Simpson Grierson wins Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery

National law firm Simpson Grierson has won the 2004 Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery for its partnership with the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tämaki and its second Auckland Triennial: Public/Private Tumatanui Tumataiti.

The annual Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery, presented last night at the National Business Review Awards for Business Sponsorship of the Arts, is about encouraging and recognising arts and business partnerships that are visionary and involve elements of risk.

Simpson Grierson was the principal sponsor of the second Auckland Triennial - a contemporary art exhibition featuring the work of more than 30 leading and emerging artists from New Zealand and overseas.

The exhibition opened in March 2004 at the Auckland Art Gallery, University of Auckland's Gus Fisher and George Fraser Galleries, Artspace and a number of other sites around the city. Between the four participating venues, the exhibition was seen by 14,962 visitors.

The theme of the exhibition was built around privacy and posed the question: what does privacy mean in a world of daily boundary-crossing between what's considered private and what's not? Many works in the Triennial were graphic or challenging.

Chair of Creative New Zealand Peter Biggs praised Simpson Grierson's brave decision to become the principal sponsor of the controversial exhibition.

"I am sure such an innovative, memorable sponsorship decision will have a great impact on Simpson Grierson's profile, both as a supporter of the arts and as a company prepared to take risks and think outside the square," Mr Biggs said.

"Businesses that choose to support an arts project are not only building a successful future for themselves; they are also helping build a vibrant and innovative future for all New Zealanders."
Mr Biggs commented that Creative New Zealand had also supported the Auckland exhibition with a project grant through its Arts Board.

The judges of the National Business Review Awards for Business Sponsorship of the Arts were arts patrons Adrienne Lady Stewart and Jenny Gibbs; former winner of the Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery Michael Hill; businessman Dr Don Turkington; and publisher Barry Coleman.

Commenting on the winner of the Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery, the judges described the project as "a very worthwhile sponsorship for the community as a whole - and very courageous due to the nature of the exhibition. Simpson Grierson would have had to take a deep breath before committing itself to such a cutting-edge and potentially controversial exhibition."

The Creative New Zealand Award for Bravery is one of three annual awards that Creative New Zealand supports to acknowledge the contribution that other sectors make to the arts sector.


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