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Artists in the draw for Parkin Prize

Two Wairarapa artists, and a third with a strong connection to the region, have been shortlisted for the 2023 Parkin Drawing Prize.

The competition – which was founded in 2012 by arts patron Chris Parkin, who has funded it since – attracted 500 entries this year.

The shortlisted artists are vying for the major prize of $25,000, while 10 ‘highly commended’ prizes of $500 are also up for grabs.

The winning submission will be selected and announced by Auckland Art Gallery director Kirsten Lacy at the opening of the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington on Tuesday, August 2.

All the 86 artworks shortlisted this year will be for sale as part of the exhibition, which will run until Sunday, September 11.

Masterton artist Jann Lenihan’s ‘Ironing Bored’ is a mixed media work made with a reused ironing board cover, embroidery, paint, ink, pen, and pencil.

In her statement about the piece, Lenihan said that when she worked in an office, “I ironed my work clothes every Sunday while imagining the artwork I would make if I had more time. I started drawing these ideas on the cover, then – when I replaced it with a new one – added paint and pen. I entered this in one of the first Parkin Prize Awards but was not selected. I then added bits over the years treating it almost like a journal. Finally, this year, I embroidered over some of the images and stitched concentric circles to reflect my repeated process, ironing, and entries.”

Featherston artist Samuel Pepper’s ‘Spur’ was created with colour pencil on paper and has a distinctly rural inspiration.

“My artwork is drawn using colour pencil to portray the spirit of the iconic New Zealand Huntaway as a working dog breed,” Pepper said.

“I am constantly inspired by this breed due to its energetic nature and determination. The perspective of this piece aims to capture a unique angle of this dog at work in order to portray her character and movement.”

While artist Trantham Gordon is now based in Auckland, he went to college in Wairarapa and his parents still live in Masterton. His work, ‘A4 Twofold: acknowledging A0 Folded Moire Drawing’, uses the medium of ink on paper and was made in acknowledgement of Monique Jensen’s ‘A0 Folded Moire Drawing’, which won the Parkin Prize in 2013 and is “a work that spurred and informed my interest in mark making”, Gordon said.

His work “focuses on the simplicity of the ISO 216 system of paper, a system derived from one metre squared and the square root of two. There are 52594 marks on the two-folded A4 page, each mark is roughly 4.1mm tall. Each mark represents 100 minutes, filling in the 10 years that have passed between ‘A0 Folded Moire Drawing’ winning this award and my submission.”

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