Mys­te­ri­ous art­work wins the top award

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - MIKE MATHER

It looks at first glance like a se­ries of ran­dom scrawl­ings on a light blue back­ground.

But there is much more to the story of Rose Meyer’s art­work Jour­ney; From Pen to Print to Paint which was deemed wor­thy of this year’s $20,000 New Zealand Paint­ing and Print­mak­ing Award by judge Roger Boyce.

Jour­ney and 35 other fi­nal­ists in the an­nual awards can be seen in the Hamil­ton Gar­dens Pav­il­ion, as part of the Hamil­ton Gar­dens Arts Fes­ti­val, un­til Fe­bru­ary 26.

The Auck­land artist’s mul­ti­me­dia work started life as a draw­ing made by plac­ing a wheeled pen into a box con­tain­ing pa­per.

The box was then sent to a des­ti­na­tion in the mail.

In­side, as the box was man­han­dled and trans­ported to its des­ti­na­tion, the pen’s course across the pa­per - in a man­ner that Boyce likens to that of a ouija board - was recorded on the pa­per.

That im­age cre­ated by the jour­ney then un­der­went a sec­ond jour­ney through var­i­ous other forms of me­dia.

A dig­i­tal pho­to­graph was taken of the work, then a vinyl cut of that im­age was made and, fi­nally, it was recre­ated in the form of a care­fully crafted paint­ing.

‘‘It looks ran­dom, but on ex­am­i­na­tion you can see that ev­ery­thing is very pre­cise.’’

The end re­sult for Boyce was cap­ti­vat­ing.

‘‘It’s a real slow burner,’’ the Ilam Arts School lec­turer said.

‘‘The more and more I looked at it, the more it man­i­fested as a great piece. It looks ran­dom, but on ex­am­i­na­tion you can see that ev­ery­thing is very pre­cise. I couldn’t fig­ure out how it was done and I loved the mys­tery of that - the fact you can’t pen­e­trate the tech­ni­cal fa­cil­ity.

‘‘There is not a lot I haven’t seen, but to find some­thing new, and some­thing that I re­ally like ... there’s a huge nov­elty to that.’’

Boyce also awarded a merit award to a work by Heather Straka, an­other Auck­land artist, called Street Pa­rade.

The study of the back of a beau­ti­ful woman’s head is also a work of mys­tery, and is rem­i­nis­cent of the art of 17th-cen­tury Dutch painter Jo­hannes Ver­meer, who cre­ated the paint­ing Girl With a Pearl Ear­ring.

‘‘Heather is a re­ally well­known New Zealand artist, but this is def­i­nitely not typ­i­cal of her work.’’

Cu­rated by the Waikato So­ci­ety of Arts, the free awards ex­hi­bi­tion is open from 1 to 6pm on week­ends, and from mid­day to 6pm on week­days. For more info, visit:

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