Remarks by Dr Areta Wilkinson, Chairperson, Arts in Oxford, about Artweek 2020:
During Lockdown many people turned to the arts to pass the time, to give comfort, and to create meaning. One positive of Covid-19 is that the value of the arts is being re-examined—and asserted by the arts sector.
There are significant benefits that a thriving arts sector can bring to our communities. Arts, culture, and heritage contribute to an economy of cultural capital through economic, social, educational, environmental, and cultural outcomes. These are all positive contributions to community wellbeing. Events such as Darfield Artweek are part of this wellbeing ecology. The more mechanisms we can create for communities to engage with and develop the arts will result in increased wellbeing.
Thank you to the Malvern Community Arts Council, all the sponsors, all the artists and all art lovers for your valuing of the arts.
You all know that art is subjective, and that judging is a personal choice.
The chosen works caught my eye and continued to peak my curiosity. They were all resolved in their own way; they let the viewer into the artist’s head somewhat. They were works that drew me to look closer and I found I wanted to know more about them.
MCAC Premier Award
“Organic Form No. 1” David Waterman
A finely executed drawing created by hand with pastel and pen that begs the eye to follow the spiral, only to find there are other forms beneath. There are echoes of Schoon and Lye, and tribal art. It has a shifting quality and is quite mesmerising the longer you spend with it.
MCAC Friends Award
“Stars around the Moon” Henry Turner
This gouache painting, , is a still-life cosmic folly within a universe within
a frame. Beautifully painted with intriguing components carefully placed. I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in this work or Henry’s head, but I certainly want to know more!
Local Businesses Award
“Camp” Ben Groters
This is a very fine charcoal drawing that does not over complicate. Black and white true-to-monochromatic-life above the snow line, with careful tone to register facial features.
Selwyn Creative Network Award
“Abstract Landscape” Joan Pascoe
Another altered reality. A calming bird’s eye view flattened out and simplified, but conveying industry in the expanse.
Highly Commended Award
“Neko Mata” Asako Ridgen
A well crafted and complex print. It is also making reference to narrative traditions we are less familiar with here in NZ.
The Drawing Room Award
“In Lockdown” David Choi
This pen drawing is an accomplished intricate drawing of multiple alternate realities all in one work, produced over many hours of lockdown, no doubt.
“Route 66 Mid West” Roger McArthur
A real view of Route 66 Mid West but honestly translated through careful flat rendering. Outward looking beyond our borders.
“Covid Era Romance” Georgia Hubbard
This delightful sketch is a response to our new coronavirus context. Archiving these unprecedented times through creative imaging feels important for future generations to come.
“Peeling Back Time” Rob Lawrence
With digital editing, photoshop filters, and enhancing apps a straight well composed photograph can be hard to find. This is a sensitive nostalgic glimpse through beautiful decay.
“Heifer in Clover” Deborah Thompson
A bovine dream created through collage. It is unexpectedly punky and very playful, with cut-outs and spray paint.