Bicultural scoops top art award
Kereama Taepa has won out over 148 other entries from across the Bay of Plenty to win this year’s $10,000 Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Award with his work Bicultural Dialogue I.
The $1000 Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award went to Jill Fleming for her work Ascension and Cheyenne Rose was named as Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist for her work Legs.
The winners were announced by judge Emma Bugden to more than 300 guests at a gala awards on Friday.
The three winning works and 45 other selected finalists will remain on display to the public at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre until Friday October 6, 2017.
The winners and finalists were chosen using a blind judging process, based purely on the merits of the artworks. Bugden said she knew in coming here that the Bay of Plenty has a rich art tradition and that was certainly reflected in this year’s entries.
‘‘Altogether, the high standard on show was exciting. Art in the region has got a direction and a purpose which thrusts it right into the national cultural conversation.’’
Announcing Kereama Taepa Bicultural Dialogue I as the Supreme Award winner, Bugden said what set this work apart for her was its simplicity; superbly executed, smart and funny which drew her in and held her attention.
‘‘While the sculpture tackles big subjects—the complexity of cultural identity and the changing nature of craft in a digital era—it does it with cheek and humour. The legacy of tradition is seen through a contemporary lens, simultaneously throwing light on the past and the future.’’
In awarding the Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award to Jill Fleming for her work Ascension, Budgen noted that innovation does not have to mean discarding our heritage.
‘‘Ascension respectfully reworks craft traditions into a new form where every detail is carefully considered. The work makes connections between Western and Ma¯ori traditions, enhancing our understanding of both.’’
Kareama Taepa’s $10,000 Award winning work Bicultural I.