Natalie Gelder

I'm currently based in Auckland region. Over the last 3 years I've made the finals of the Tasman Art awards, Walker and Hall art awards, Kumeu art awards (runner up), Mairangi awards, Adams Portrait awards, Waitekere Trust awards (Catagory winner) and the Parkin Drawing Prize. And I'm entering the Parkin Drawing Prize again this year again.

I started drawing habitually as a child with my dad on public transport around Yorkshire, England. We used to draw the inside of the moving vessel, then our location we arrived at, a lot of the time rural, sometimes urban, and on other walks and bike rides we used to take together. Of scenes like snippets of our day, whether they were bumpy bus trips with wobbly lines, or a bustly half an hour of ducks feeding by a lake, or sat in the rain drawing castle ruins, and the ink would smudge and the paper would go all wobbly. It set the foundation of love for soaking in my surroundings in a meditation like state, and being able to ground myself through the methodical process of analysing and recording what was there, through my filtered breakdown of how it's structured.

As I got older the challenge of creating likeness in a portrait was a challenge too tempting not to take on, I was thirsty for something more difficult and less forgiving (to my dad's dismay who loves landscapes). Since I had 2 boys that's really flourished, I had 2 subjects that I was so in love with that I didn't get bored of recording as they grew and developed, so naturally I have sketchpads full of drawings of them.

Last year my most recent portrait of my youngest boy Lucas won ‘our people, our place’ at the trust awards, at waitekere arts. I think it had nice technical accuracy, and good resemblance, it wasn't a staged image, but it felt very vanilla after completion, and I knew I was ready to branch out my skills and see how far I could push myself out of my comfort zone.

At the moment I'm actively taking on impulsive projects that feel good without pushing to make them work. I'm trying to use my creative intuition, being open to using my surroundings as fuel to decide the narrative and subject choice as if I'd be the only person to ever see them, like a diary entry, let them fall into place on their own, and let the work have it's own voice even if it wasn't the route I was going to take. I find this path really rewarding, I never get creators block, I usually don't have enough time to persue ¾ of the work I want to make. I have a constant source of material to work with, and just hope the projects that stand out the most are the most valuable to me for learning and growing purposes, because this perpetual state of creating is essential to my wellbeing.



Creating likeness in a portrait




Wednesday 28 February 2024 

Entries opened.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Entries closed 1pm. 

26 June 2024

Works shortlisted for the prize announced.

 Monday 15 July – Friday 26 July 2024 

Works shortlisted for the prize to arrive at the Academy by 4pm.

 5 August 2024

The winner will be announced at the official awards evening at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

6 August – 1 September 2024 

The exhibition opens to the public.

Parkin Drawing Prize reserves the right to change any of the above dates.





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