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Poppy Lekner wins $25,000 Parkin Drawing Prize


“Forward Slash’ by Poppy Lekner

News from NZ Academy Of Fine Arts
Poppy Lekner has won the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize and a $25,000 cash prize – sponsored by Chris Parkin, arts patron and philanthropist. Poppy’s work ‘Forward Slash’ was chosen as the winner from 482 entries nationwide and 76 finalists.

Poppy says she is overwhelmed with the award. “I am truly blown away to be the recipient of the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize and am incredibly grateful to Chris Parkin for the establishment of this prestigious award. I have entered the prize before but have never placed, so it’s still sinking it that I have won.”

Reflecting on the winning artwork, judge Charlotte Davy said:

“It is a delicate unrelenting work produced on a Brother typewriter, the artist has mechanically made the same mark over and over again, meshing and weaving the symbol into a single image. Far from the kind of quick digital keyboard art that can readily be morphed into emoji, this piece is a beautiful meditation created using a laborious process of pressing the character into the surface repeatedly in a line, then adjusting and realigning the paper at the end of each row before setting out again. 

The piece owes a debt to 1960s Op art with its repetition of form, and also to Conceptualism with its negation of the artists hand through the use of a machine and the exploration of chance. The minute variations in the angle of the typewriter key hitting the surface of the paper and the artist realigning the piece at the end of each row produce unsettling distortions in the overall grid. The pared back quality of this drawing is mesmerising, and in our chaotic and difficult world it contemplates a kind of simplicity, immediacy and acceptance of imperfection that often seems far from reach.”

Charlotte Davy also awarded 10 merit prizes of $500 each. The recipients include Jennifer Summers Suburban Orb, Akiko Diegel The day after yesterday, Edwards + Johann Concretions – pink, Edwards + Johann Concretions – acid, Ina Johann Mapping another life A state of being in disguise of a cloud, Stuart Forsyth I’m not so sure I want to go back to the way it was before, Elizabeth Vullings 1:1 Door, Michael Hawkins Student Debt, and Simon Attwooll Home.

This years exhibition was curated by Suzanne Herschell, Life member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

The Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition season runs until 30 August at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Academy Galleries, Queens Wharf, Wellington.

All the artworks will be for sale giving admirers and collectors the opportunity to purchase some wonderful pieces.

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