At the Walters Prize dinner held at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
, Kate Newby was announced the winner of New Zealands most prestigious contemporary art award.
Newby wins $50,000 and an all expenses paid trip to New York with the opportunity to exhibit her work at Saatchi & Saatchis world headquarters.
International judge, Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum (MAM) in Tokyo, Japan, Mami Kataoka says, I would like to award the 2012 Walters Prize to Kate Newby. It has been very difficult to create an order among the four artists practices, which are all outstanding in different ways. While Newbys work is probably the least eloquent by making minimal interventions into the given space, it embraces memories of locations, her personal gestures and subtle actions, which viewers can relate to through small objects embedded into the concrete ramp and the materiality of the suspended fabric.
More importantly, the use of natural light and the way the work gradually crawls out of the museum space is the most reserved but radical way of transcending the fixed architectural space for contemporary art, liberating us towards wider universal space. The colour yellow emphasizes the cognition for the light and the space and the whole installation offers the physical experience and awareness of both void and silence. This decision is derived from my attempt to evoke a state of equilibrium in our ever competitive and hierarchical society and its abiding belief in power.
Newby joins a celebrated list of former Walters Prize winners and contemporary New Zealand artists: Yvonne Todd, et al., Francis Upritchard, Peter Robinson and Dan Arps.
The Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years.
Held every two years, the Walters Prize aims to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of cultural life. Named in honour of the late New Zealand artist Gordon Walters, the Prize was established in 2002 by Founding Benefactors and Principal Donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, working together with Auckland Art Gallery.