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Powerful Work With Ancestral Influences Wins Award

Powerful Work With Ancestral Influences Awarded Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award

MH Supreme Winner
2006 (Lorene Taurerewa)
Click to enlarge

MH Supreme Winner 2006 (Lorene Taurerewa)

MH Merit Winner
2006 (Brydee Rood)
Click to enlarge

MH Merit Winner 2006 (Brydee Rood)

15, 2006

Powerful Work With Ancestral Influences Awarded Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award.

A Samoan/Chinese/European artist, Lorene Taurerewa from Wellington is the recipient of the Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award for 2006 for a drawing representing her monumental series of 12 figures titled Journey of 1000 Miles.

Her work reflects the influence of the traditional Chinese mark making concept in portraits that are venerated as encapsulations of the ancestors.

The Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award is a partnership with the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand, and an excellent example of a public/private partnership focusing on pacific art.

The recipient of the Martin Hughes Contemporary Pacific Art Award receives a travel grant of $5000 to develop a project.

The Award will take Lorene to New York where she is spending all of 2007 researching, working in a studio and finding gallery representation.

In commenting on Lorene's work the judges said it was "moving; dramatic; philosophically appealing with the families, ancestry emphasis; strong and powerful".

Lorene has said of her work: "I have always had a deep interest in my own family history which informs my work from a base of intimate knowledge. My Chinese lineage can only be traced back four generations to Samoa and then it is lost for all time. To re-establish cultural binds and acknowledge cultural heritage I have used Chinese visual art as the medium to explore the paths back to an original source."

A special Merit Award of $500 has also been made this year to Brydee Rood. As a young artist her work continues to intrigue with her original view. She is in her last years of her Masters at Elam.

Her installation Pukeko Wheelies "explores the changing interface of my local habitat. Everyday I commute across the disappearing edges of a wetland. The streets and suburbs eat the precious natural surrounds: giving birth to bulging wheelie bins and colour coded waste."

"The Martin Hughes Award continues to be a key Award for acknowledging the importance of Pacific arts and the wider influence of this region and cultures within New Zealand society," said Anton Carter on behalf of the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand.

"A travel award for an artist is such a gift to be able to concentrate on their own work for a period of time and to be inspired by other peoples work or different environments."

The finalists for the 2006 Award were: Brydee Rood, Edith Amituanai, Ellie Fa'amauri, Graham Fletcher, John Harries, Leanne Joy Lupelele Clayton, Lonnie Hutchinson, Lorene Taurerewa, Lurlene Christiansen, Neke Moa and Tim Royall.

The Award is in its eight year and is open to all contemporary New Zealand and Pacific Island artists - Pacific Island, Maori or other ethnicities - whose work highlights the contemporary adaptation of Pacific influences.

The Award is open to artists working in the following mediums: photography, tapa/textiles, installation, multi-media, printmaking, sculpture, jewellery, painting, weaving and carving.

Applicants are artists based either in New Zealand or the following Island nations: Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu.

Martin Hughes Architecture Interiors, based in Auckland, established the award in 1998 and previous winners are Andy Leleisi'uao, Niki Hastings-McFall, Sheyne Tuffery, Ross T. Smith, carver Tui Hobson and painter Zarahn Southon.

Commenting from London on the influence of the Award on his career, last year's winner Zarahan said: "The Award provided the opportunity for me to live and work abroad and to further my studies in my field and gain more insight into the multi faceted approaches to capturing life in paint. It is still early to forecast the future but the time spent in the ateliers and museums of Europe will be clearly evident in my future painting."

The guest judges for 2006 were Glenda Vilisoni of the Pacific Arts Committee, David Walden of TBWA\Whybin and Deborah White of Whitespace.

There will be an exhibition of all finalists at the Martin Hughes Gallery in the Axis Building 91 Lower St Georges Bay Road Parnell until Friday December 1.


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