30 Nov 2011
Ten prestigious awards totalling $360,000 were presented tonight to New Zealand artists at the inaugural Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards at the Viaduct Events Centre on Auckland's Waterfront.
The Arts Foundation awards included five $50,000 Laureate Awards, three $25,000 New Generation Awards, the $25,000 Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the first $10,000 Mallinson Rendel Award for children's book illustrators.
Laureates announced include musician Whirimako Black, photographer Fiona Pardington, writer Emily Perkins, filmmaker Leanne Pooley and choreographer/director Lemi Ponifasio. Musician/artist Sam Hamilton, who is currently on tour with Lemi in Europe, received a New Generation Award alongside photographer Ben Cauchi and playwright Eli Kent. Fiona Pardington's brother Neil Pardinton received the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the inaugural recipient of the Mallinson Rendel Award is David Elliot.
The five hundred guests at the awards were greeted by a gallery of works by artists previously awarded by the Arts Foundation and artists who have been commissioned by the Arts Foundation for award trophies. Sculpture, paintings and photographs were joined by live theatre and digital sound art installation in an amazing display of New Zealand depth of artistic achievement. The ceremony concluded with 2010 New Generation Award recipient Anna Leese performing Zueignung by Richard Strauss. Anna sung as the curtains of the event centre were draw to reveal performers silhouetted by the nights sky surrounding the venue and then blasted by aviation search lights. The design of the extraordinary finish was donated by Marie Adams and Mike Mizrahi from Inside Out Productions.
Arts Foundation Chair, Fran Ricketts, said "the Arts Awards are an occasion for New Zealand to focus on the national and international achievements of our finest artists. She also said that the Awards were an opportunity to celebrate and grow philanthropic support for the arts. All of our awards are privately funded or secured. We expect to grow the amount of donations to artists presented at these awards through private partnerships and are already in discussion with a number of philanthropists about establishing new awards."
The Arts Foundation was a winner on the night. Ian Witters, Head of Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand, announced that in addition to naming rights to the New Zealand Arts Awards, Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand will be the Arts Foundation's Principal Partner. "The Arts Foundation's investment in talented New Zealanders and bringing us together as a nation, through these awards, is applauded by Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand," said Ian. "We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Foundation to show our commitment to New Zealand and the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by the arts."
In conjunction with the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards the Foundation is producing a series of events on the Auckland Waterfront. The Wynyard Quarter Arts Series features a writers walk, outdoor cinema, a concert in silo park, a series of events in the Stoneleigh 'pop up' container bar an information hub where viewers can watch the TVNZ 7 series The Artists and there is a literary sandpit for children featuring the writing of Arts Foundation Icon, Margaret Mahy with illustrations by David Elliot. "The Series is introducing New Zealanders to our finest artists and ensuring public access to the celebration of the Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards", said Fran Ricketts.