Wellington Scoop

Emma Lou wins $5000 first prize in IHC Art Awards

Press Release – IHC Telecom Art Awards

Second place – Jo-Anne Tapiki. First place – Emma Lou. Third place – Cherie Mellsopp

A finely detailed pastel drawing by Wellington artist Emma Lou has won the 2017 IHC Art Awards and $5000.

Emma worked on her self-titled piece, Emma Lou, for almost a year. The large, mainly pink, mauve and blue drawing features tiny pictures of animals and fish and human faces as well as characters in both Cantonese and English.

Emma devotes a lot of time to her art – three days at the IHC Alpha Studio in central Wellington and two days at Aranui vocational base in Kilbirnie. She uses calligraphy pens along with felt pens, pencil and ink pens to achieve the detail she wants in her works.

Emma Lou is an extraordinary piece of work and a thoroughly worthy winner,” says Wellington artist and Art Awards Judge Gina Matchitt. “The hours of work that has gone into the intricate details of the piece is simply awe inspiring.”

Second prize of $2000 went to Wellington artist and 2016 Winner, Jo-Anne Tapiki and third prize of $1000 was won by Cherie Mellsopp of Hamilton. For the second year in a row the top three prizes went to an all-female line-up of artists.

Auckland based Judges Tim Walker and Boh Runga said that the calibre of art produced by this year’s 30 finalists was worthy of inclusion in any gallery. “The quality of work in 2017 was outstanding and covered a wide range of medium and subjects, which made the judging process very difficult,” says Tim.

“But the three winning pieces really stood out and each artist deserves to be recognised as a winner,” said Boh.

For the second year in a row WORLD fashion director Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, undertook the role of Art Awards Ambassador. “It cannot be overstated what a wonderful medium art is for eliciting joy in both artists and appreciators alike,” says Denise. “I think every artist with an intellectual disability should be encouraged to enter the Awards and share in that joy.”

There were nearly 400 entries in this year’s Awards, including sculptures, installations and textile art, painting and drawing. The IHC Art Awards are open to all New Zealanders with an intellectual disability, age 13 or over, whether or not they use IHC services.

The top three prize-winners were picked out of 30 finalists nationwide and announced at Shed 6 in Wellington on Wednesday 30 August. The finalists’ work was auctioned at the event, with all proceeds from the sales going solely to the artists.

2017 IHC Art Award Judges:

Gina Matchitt

Gina Matchitt is a Wellington-based artist whose work draws on her Māori tribal affiliations, Te Arawa and Te Whakatōhea and is a fusion of Māori and Pakeha (European) concepts. Her work has been widely exhibited in New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands, United States and Switzerland. Matchitt’s work is found in many major New Zealand public collections, including Te Papa Tongarewa – The National Museum of New Zealand, and Auckland Art Gallery.

Boh Runga

Boh Runga was not content with a music career fronting one of the country’s most successful bands, Stellar. Since the band disbanded in 2010, she has formed a number of creative partnerships – with Che Fu in 2010 on The Winery Tour and in 2012 she was back writing music and performing with Anika Moa and Hollie Smith. Boh’s creativity continues with her Boh Runga for NZ Mint Jewellery, a make-up product under Boh’s name launched by Shiseido, and her Monarch butterfly-inspired rug design for Designer Rugs ‘Kiwi Icon’ collection. Boh’s creations flow from the studio to stage and catwalk. Boh judged the Art Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an Auckland-based arts and culture consultant. After three decades in the art gallery sector (as fine arts curator at Waikato Museum, senior art curator at National Art Gallery/Te Papa and director at The Dowse) he set up his own company and now works with arts organisations, government departments, local government, iwi and tourism operators throughout New Zealand.

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