28 May 2018
Dame Doreens Gift 2018 has been awarded to Warkworth based weaver Christopher Duncan by the Blumhardt Foundation at a ceremony at the Pataka Art Museum, Porirua today.
On hearing the news of the award Christopher Duncan said “Receiving a gift as recognition for your work is a humbling experience. I see it as a sort of beacon or a treasure you never looked for but a contribution you know encourages you to keep going and enhances your drive to continue.”
The $8000 Gift is awarded every two years to encourage an outstanding maker whose achievements have garnered the admiration and respect of peers, sector leaders and institutions who has not yet attaining the status of being a mid-career artist.
The Foundation works with national sectors leaders to select the recipient. This is what one of the selectors said about Christopher Duncan;
“He has pioneered a weaving business in an urban environment that before he opened his doors, was probably unthinkable. His shop-front space blends workplace, gallery and retail operation and provides a highly visible ongoing tutorial in the contemporary role of weaving for the unsuspecting passer-by. Propelling craft into this area of the city indirectly gives ballast to the work of other makers, whom he also supports directly, by presenting and selling their work within this carefully cultivated environment.
During the time he’s been weaving on Karangahape Rd, his work has advanced very rapidly and he’s maintained an impressive record of productivity. Physically his weaving has become increasingly fine, but perhaps it is its richly variegated philosophical texture that is most striking. In weaving, he appears to be formulating a contemporary role for craft, driven by a deeply principled sensibility. His practice in this space is not just as a producer of textiles but as an advocate, he works as a quietly powerful craft impresario. His example of not simply producing handmade textiles, but establishing an environment that makes this work, and the work of like-minded others, more visible, is inspiring.”
Established by leading potter, arts advocate and educator Dame Doreen Blumhardt, The Blumhardt Foundation is the only New Zealand organisation solely focused on supporting the advancement of NZ’s craft/object art sector.
The inaugural Dame Doreen’s Gift was awarded to Craig McIntosh, carver & jeweller in 2016 and has been acknowledged as a pivotal point in his career.
Images attached: Image credits Meighan Ellis
For more information please contact Brian Wood Blumhardt Foundation Trustee 021 298 1516 or Philip Clarke Blumhardt Foundation Secretary 027 257 7216