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Ben Timmins wins Top Art Award for Third Year in a Row

1 August 2013

Hat-trick for artist Ben Timmins who wins Top Art Award for Third Year in a Row

Ben Timmins has won the 2013 New Zealand Art Show’s $5,000 Signature Piece Art Award for the third year in a row, making this a first for the NZ Art Show. The Award was decided by a public vote during this year’s show held in Wellington last weekend.

The NZ Art Show’s Executive Director Carla Russell says, “Ten artworks chosen by our selection panel were eligible for the Award, but the final decision was made by people who visited the Show voting for the work they liked the most. Ben Timmins’ work attracted the public’s attention and won by an overwhelming margin. We trust that the Award will provide further recognition of his undoubted ability and help further his career.”

Ben’s painting Entrance, striking in both technique and composition, not only impressed the selection panel but more importantly won favour from the thousands who attended this year’s Show. Entrance depicts an iceberg, painted in an icy blue/green palette on Timmins’ signature surface; natural wood grain. The iceberg rests on a glassy reflective surface, its mirror image reflected below.

The Convenor of the Selection Panel, Wellington artist Lynne Sandri said, “The selection panel were hugely encouraged by the quality of the work submitted for the Signature Piece Art Award this year. The artists we selected as finalists all pushed their work further to master their discipline and medium. This was more evident in the work of seven of the ten finalists who had exhibited at the NZ Art Show in previous years, and reinforces the role of the Show in helping artists develop their art and their careers as artists.”

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The other Signature Piece Art Award finalists were: Wairarapa artist Sean Crawford’s sculpture, Lament of the Sentimental Gentlemen; Wellington artist Sue Lund’s mixed media Time in Paint’; Matakana artist Charlie McKenzie’s resin infused hand painted fabric In Depth; Wellington photographer Steve Thomson’s Guardians …Male…Female A diptych; Wellington artist Mia Hamilton’s wood and wool construction Monet goes Pixel; Wellington based Jeroen Ten Berge’s acrylic on canvas painting Moonlit Barns; Wellington-based photographer Peter Leask’s Putangirua; Wellington-based artist Harry Culy’s digital inkjet large format photograph Wildlife; and Rebecca Phillips’ acrylic painting on MDF panel Solomon’s Splendour, Rebecca is also a Wellingtonian.

Timmins, based in Paekakariki on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast, has, in the last three years, developed into a stand out participant at the NZ Art Show, as his award wins and sales reflect. He has won a reputation for his landscapes and bird studies, oil on natural wood grain panels and framed with copper band. This symbiosis of realistic geographical form, wood grain and line has become indicative of Ben’s distinctive style as an acclaimed New Zealand painter.

In addition to exhibiting at the NZ Art Show since 2007, Ben has previously exhibited at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts and also in a number of dealer galleries. In 2011, the James Wallace Arts Trust purchased a Ben Timmins painting; the Auckland-based Wallace Arts Trust has some 5,000 original New Zealand artworks and is regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious art collections.

Ben Timmins said, “I’m thrilled to win this particular award three years running, it shows that the public responds well to my work. I very much appreciate their ongoing interest and support. And it’s a sign that I’m doing something right.”

The winning piece was purchased by Christchurch doctor Lew Johnson. Johnson, an avid art collector for nearly 30 years said that he attended the NZ Art Show on the recommendation of renowned NZ art writer Warwick Henderson.

“The painting ' Entrance ' by Ben Timmins is beautiful”, says Johnson. “It has been a long time since an art work has left me mesmerized and speechless. We didn't realise that the artist had won the award twice before and it wouldn’t have mattered at the time.”

The objectives of the Signature Piece Art Award are to: recognise artistic excellence in the visual arts; highlight the work of promising artists for the future; encourage, develop and promote emerging artists to new artistic levels; and give the public a voice as to whom they would like to reward.

“This is the fifth year we have offered the Signature Piece Art Award. The Award provides yet another way in which the NZ Art Show, can assist and support artists and the arts community,” Carla Russell said.

About the NZ Art Show
The NZ Art Show is an annual three-day art exhibition held each year in Wellington’s Events Centre on Queens Wharf.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the show which was established in 2004 and since then, the event has grown in size, reputation and quality. The exhibition showcases some 3,000 artworks by more than 300 artists; it is the largest curated art sale of its kind in this country. Since its inception, it has sold some $8 million of art, 11,000 artworks, and returned nearly $7 million back to artists – making the show a significant contributor to New Zealand’s arts community.

The New Zealand Art Show is governed by the New Zealand Affordable Art Trust (NZAAT). Its vision is to promote New Zealand artists and help them access resources and opportunities to further their development, and to promote the appreciation of New Zealand art to the wider public.

The NZAAT is a registered charity (# CC28710) under the Charities Act 2005.


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