By Aimee O’Hagan
Left: Wendy Murphy with a printed copy of her artwork, 'Meditation on Mortality'.
Blenheim woman, Wendy Murphy, not only loves pondering the meaning of human existence; she is also passionate about creating images that explore it.
The Marlborough Girls’ College art teacher has recently been shortlisted as a finalist for national drawing competition, the Parkin Drawing Prize.
Over 470 artists from around New Zealand entered into the competition, and Wendy’s piece was one of 79 entries to make it through to the next stage. The winner of the competition will win an incredible $20,000, while the ten runner-ups are set to recieve $500 each.
Wendy’s drawing is titled ‘Meditation on Mortality’, which, according to her, is part of an “ongoing metaphysical investigation”. This is her second year being selected as a finalist and investigating the subject in her artwork.
“I’ve been exploring [the theme] for a number of years now,” Wendy says.
“It’s to do with the things that effect us, but the things that we don’t necessarily have direct reference to.
“So, things that are very small – like pollen, or viruses, or a cellular structure – but also things that could be very large, like huge cosmic things.”
For this year’s entry, she was particularly inspired by kiwi scientist Roy Kerr. Roy did a lot of work in the 1960s, effectively leading scientists from all over the world to get together, share data, and create the first picture of a black hole.
“I’ve done quite a few images to do with the solar system,” Wendy mentions.
“Marlborough District Council bought one of my pictures to do with the thirty moons, which is part of the council collection. That’s also to do with this astrological theme.”
Wendy specifically entered the competition as a “way of exhibiting” her work. For her, the contest simply provides a means through which her pieces can be seen by other people.
All of the finalists’ artwork is set to be displayed at the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition, which will be held at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, from August 6 to September 8.
First Published 4 July 2019