Neil Pardington

Pardingtons sweep inaugural Art Awards

Last night the New Zealand Arts Foundation held its first national awards ceremony and it was good news for one family of photographers.

Renowned art photographer Fiona Pardington was awarded one of the five $50,000 Laureate Awards on the night while her brother Neil Pardington picked up the $25,000 Marti Friedlander Photographic Award.

Another photographic winner at the event was Ben Cauchi, who scored one of three $25,000 New Generation Awards for rising artists who demonstrate great potential, independence and consistency in their work.

The inaugural awards ceremony was attended by five hundred guests who were greeted by a gallery of works from previous Arts Foundation award recipients.

Fran Ricketts, chair of the Foundation, says the annual Art Awards will function as both a platform to celebrate the achievements of New Zealand’s finest artists as well as encourage philanthropic support for the arts.

“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.”

At the event the Foundation, in partnership with Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand, also unveiled plans for a series of public art events to be held at the Auckland waterfront’s new Wynyard Quarter.

The Wynyard Quarter Arts Series will feature a writers walk, outdoor cinema, a concert in silo park, a series of events in the Stoneleigh ‘pop up’ container bar a ‘literary sandpit’ for children featuring the writing of Margaret Mahy with illustrations by David Elliot.

Image: Film Archive # 4 from The Vault series, © Neil Pardington

Te Whare o Kāi Tahu by Neil Pardington

From bank vaults, archives, morgues and hospital wards, photographer Neil Pardington has shifted his examination of the psychology of spaces to the whare of the southern Kāi Tahu iwi.

Works from a new series by Pardington titled Te Whare o Kāi Tahu will be coming to Wellington’s {Suite} Gallery at the end of the month.

As with the artist’s previous works, the images from the series depict spaces laden with artefacts of personal significance, devoid of people — rooms meant to collect memories and tell stories.

The photographer combines an eye for cold, documentary style undercut with a rich sense of culture and personal import. In the case of Te Whare, locations throughout Otago tell uninhabited tales of intersecting cultures.

Pardington looks to the spaces where we store the things we deem valuable as well as the places that collect things willingly discarded, wondering which of these tells us more about ourselves.

Te Whare o Kāi Tahu will show at {Suite} Gallery in Wellington from January 28 to February 19.

The photographer’s previous series, The Vault, is also currently touring the country and will be opening at the City Gallery in Wellington on January 29 as well as a small retrospective called Contemporary Mythologies: Selected Works 1998-2009 showing at {Suite}’s City Gallery from January 24 to February 9.

The Vault’s locked-up locales, such as exhibits in storage and sealed art collections, nicely compliment Te Whare’s museum-like openness — If you’re in the capital these are three perfect opportunities to explore the prolific artist’s work.