2017 Judges Statement
The 2017 $20,000 Parkin Contemporary New Zealand Drawing Award, generously provided and founded by Chris Parkin of Wellington, the 84 finalists left me with a daunting task of selecting only 1 winner and 10 highly commended works. I thank the judging panel of Kelcy Taratoa, John Gow, Simon Rees and Warren Feeney who brought the more daunting task of 502 entries down to the final 84 works that are in the Exhibition presented at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.
Walking into the exhibition I was impressed by the high quality and wide variety of approaches to contemporary drawing, representing some overview of what is being produced in New Zealand art today. Limiting the Highly commended works to 10 only was difficult because of the number of quality works to choose from and their diversity to the idea of drawing. The 10 works chosen did end up reflecting this year’s fantastic diversity and innovation to drawing.
I approached the selection of the winning work by looking at work that challenged the conventional idea of what drawing can be, had a confrontational presence to look at, and where some reflection of something from our world today outside of art was embodied in its concept.
In the winner Kristy Lillicos’s work “State Block” with it’s use of salvaged carpet for surface material to draw into it with a knife a blueprint plan of an 1940’s modernist high-density concrete block of flats, then presenting it by hanging and draping it from floor to ceiling and transforming the blue print into a three dimensional drawing in space as a floppy, soft and bodily object, quite the opposite to the hard-edged concrete Brutalism style building the plan was designed for people to live in, I found this work a challenging, brave and
Her work appears to question high-density social housing and it’s livability, inequality, affordability and the failure by privatization to solve the current state housing crisis balanced with her interest in this the post–depression era of International Brutalism style of modern Architecture and its aesthetics.
I think Kristy work is a deserving winner.