A graphite drawing depicting the frustration of an emerging social class in New Zealand was judged supreme winner at the Aspiring Art Prize in Wānaka on Friday night.
Class Precariat, by Wānaka artist P. William (aka Paul McLachlan), was awarded the Craigs Investment Partners Prize of $10,000 at the gala event at Holy Family Catholic School.
According to Wikipedia, the precariat “is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare. The term is a portmanteau obtained by merging precarious with proletariat.”
The annual event attracts artists from around New Zealand and is becoming a nationally recognised art award. It is one of the school’s biggest fundraisers, raising about $22,000 each year.
The runner-up award, a $2000 prize donated by New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty agent Craig Myles, went to Ki Hyun Kim for his painting Morning on Sunday Market. Best landscape, which was awarded a $2000 prize donated by Peak Accommodation, went to Priscilla Clair for her painting Matukituki 2 and the best work under $1000 went to Gavin Chair for his painting Interior no.7 (Hotel room in Greymouth).
Thirty-one artworks were sold on Friday night, with the remainder up for sale until Tuesday January 14, when the exhibition ended.
Judges for this year’s Aspiring Art Prize were Dunedin Public Art Gallery curators Lucy Hamonds and Lauren Gutsell. They were impressed by the variety of strong, innovative and interesting works on display, submitted by well-known Kiwi artists through to up-and-coming young artists.
Holy Family Catholic School principal Jo McKay says she was thrilled with the turnout of Friday night’s gala event and the number of artworks sold.
“Fundraising events like the Craigs Aspiring Art Prize are hugely important for a high decile school like ours, as it provides additional opportunities to provide extra resources to enhance learning through cutting-edge educational programmes,” McKay said.