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.

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