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Four artists announced for the Walters Prize 2016
Nathan Pohio, Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun!


AUCKLAND.- Four outstanding artists have been announced today by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki as the finalists in this year’s Walters Prize.

The Walters Prize is dedicated to presenting the very best of New Zealand contemporary art and the exhibition is on at Auckland Art Gallery from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 30 October, 2016.

Created over the past two years, the artworks that formed the basis of the artists’ selection for the award are as follows:

· Joyce Campbell, Flightdream, 2015, exhibited at: Two Rooms, Auckland, 24 September to 24 October 2015

· Nathan Pohio, Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun!, 2015, exhibited at: SCAPE Public Art, SCAPE 8: New Intimacies, Christchurch, 3 October to 15 November 2015

· Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015, exhibited at: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2 May to 30 August 2015

· Shannon Te Ao, Two shoots that stretch far out, 2013-14, exhibited at: 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, 21 March to 9 June 2014.

The four New Zealand jury members who selected the artworks are:

· Emma Bugden, former Senior Curator at The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt

· Peter Robinson, former Walters Prize winner and Associate Professor at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland

· Dr Lara Strongman, Senior Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

· Nina Tonga, Curator of Pacific Cultures at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.

An internationally renowned art professional will select the winning work which will be announced at the Walters Prize 2016 Gala Dinner in September.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says the Walters Prize 2016 will present four of today’s most accomplished New Zealand artists.

‘The Walters Prize is the Gallery’s biannual opportunity to draw attention to the power and ingenuity of contemporary art practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through a rigorous selection process four artists have been nominated for exceptional artworks that pushed the boundaries of art making in 2014 and 2015. The Walters Prize 2016 is fascinating in its focus on lens-based and moving image works that will offer captivating experiences,’ she says.

‘For the Gallery, this group of artists once again reflects the importance of this foremost prize, where leading New Zealand artists are seen and discussed by a wide range of people through our programmes. It is also an occasion to reflect on what makes art reach its highest potential for young and old alike,’ says Devenport.

Auckland Art Gallery Curator, Contemporary Art, Natasha Conland says the Walters Prize format offers artists a rare opportunity to be held up and applauded on the basis of their achievements.

‘It’s an opportunity to capture interest in the state of contemporary art now,’ she says.

‘With a selection of entirely photo and time-based media works, this year’s prize shows the effects of digital culture on our visual lives. The selected artists work with moving image in diverse ways, however one thing becomes clear: historic events and materials are very much on the minds of these artists,’ says Conland.





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