Fascinating Video Wins $ 20,000 National Contemporary Art Prize


Auckland artist Caryline Boreham has won the prestigious National Contemporary Art Prize of $ 20,000 for 2021 for a compelling video work titled Palmolive.

Announcing the award today at the Waikato Museum in Hamilton, Judge Karl Chitham (Ngaa Puhi, Te Uriroroi) said: “This work is fascinating.”

“The title evokes notions of cleanliness, disinfection and order – making our environment safe and keeping our loved ones healthy.

“The artist has chosen to document these daily tasks in a way that makes them magical, meditative and relentless at the same time.”

The work was chosen through a blind judging process from among 38 finalists, all of whom are now on display at the Waikato Te Whare Taonga o Waikato Museum until November 28.

Chitham, who is director of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, said selecting the winners from among the finalists was a tough decision.

“The quality of the work here is incredibly high. This is the most difficult judgment process I have experienced.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year after a cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic epidemic, the award has drawn applications from across New Zealand and abroad. Tompkins Wake, one of New Zealand’s leading law firms, and nationally renowned architects Chow: Hill, have been its co-sponsors since 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The victory came as a shock to Boreham who is currently unable to visit the exhibit due to the ongoing Alert Level 4 lockdown in Auckland.

“I’m amazed. It’s such a surprise!” Boreham said over the phone, “I am actually speechless.”

In his artist statement submitted with the work, Boreham said, “The house is the setting for the most intimate, festive, ritualistic and unresolved, mundane and repetitive parts of our lives. Palmolive is a recreation of one of those moments.

The awards announced today were:

  • National Contemporary Art Prize 2021 for $ 20,000 co-sponsored by Tompkins Wake and Chow: Hill:
    Caryline Boreham for Palmolive, single channel video.
  • 2021 finalist and winner of the Hugo Charitable Trust Prize of $ 5,000:
    Brett a’Cour for Rua KDescent of Ä“nana and Pinepine Te Rika from Mount Maungaphatu, oil on prepared woolen blanket with canvas backing.
  • Winner of the 2021 Friends of the Museum of Waikato $ 1,000 Merit Award:
    Dr. Milton Browne for Look, black and white photography.
  • Random Art Group 2021 $ 1,000 Merit Award Winner:
    John Guy Johnston for The art of value, acrylic and wax pastel paint on unstretched pinstripe costume material, bulldog clips.

The Campbell Smith Memorial People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the family of the late Campbell Smith, will be presented to the winner with the most votes from the visiting public just before the award show closes in November.

The finalists for the 2021 National Contemporary Art Prize are:

  • Rua KÄ“nana and the descent of Pinepine Te Rika from Mount Maungapōhatu – Brett a’Court, Northland (Finalist, National Contemporary Art Award 2021)
  • Link – Denise Batchelor, Northland
  • Palmolive – Caryline Boreham, Auckland (Laureate, National Contemporary Art Prize 2021)
  • The murderous chain – Brit Bunkley, Whanganui
  • Fruit bowl IIII – Oliver Cain, Auckland
  • Equanimity (2021) – Trish Campbell, Auckland
  • Untitled – Alex Chalmers, Whangarei
  • Aletheia – Julia Christey, Hamilton
  • Concrete 2 – Ruth Cleland, Auckland
  • Mountain of joy – Natasha Cousens, Tauranga
  • Maelstrom – David Cowlard, Auckland
  • 2021 – Antony Densham, Auckland
  • lab 20-10AB – Leslie Falls, Hastings
  • Hikoi rā- to walk there – Fraser Findlay, Whanganui
  • ART – Stuart Forsyth, Wellington
  • No meat and all vegetable – Jacquely Greenbank, Christchurch
  • The genius loci of the chapel – Natalie Guy, Auckland
  • Resolution n ° 4 – Levi Hawken, Auckland
  • The art of value – John Guy Johnston, Auckland (Merit Award, National Contemporary Art Award 2021)
  • Anatomy of a stream – Paul V Johnston, Auckland
  • Sol 956 – Yoon Tae Kim, Auckland
  • Hope is the thing with feathers 2 – Rozana Lee, Auckland
  • Flagstaff Hill, April 2021 – Thomas Lord, Dunedin
  • The incredible lightness of being – Kaye McGarva, Havelock North
  • Look – Dr Milton Browne, Dunedin (Merit Award, National Contemporary Art Award 2021)
  • The teu is fine – Leanne Morrison, Hastings
  • Mazda late model – Mark Purdom, Hamilton
  • Solo exercise – Naomi Roche, Hamilton
  • Malaga – Raymond Sagapolutele, Auckland
  • Has it ever been more tense than today: the post-Covid apocalypse – Kyle Sattler, Tauranga
  • rorrim lartnec – Mark Soltero, Lyttelton
  • Companion Parts – Natalie Tozer, Auckland
  • Misunderstanding – Mai Trubuhovich, Auckland
  • Children of the diaspora – Telly Tuita, Wellington
  • Blue Hours – Haihui Wang, Auckland
  • Wishing well – Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Auckland
  • Progress – Alex Wilkinson and Ben Wilson, Kihikihi
  • AhoTāniko (connection) – Sheree Willman, Wellington

Details of the exhibit, which runs through November 28, are available on the Waikato Museum’s website www.waikatomuseum.co.nz. All the works in the exhibition are available for sale.


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