An exhibition called Solid Gold has come up shining for Auckland artist Christina Pataialii.
She's the winner of the inaugural Rydal Art Prize, a new biennial painting award started by
Tauranga Art Gallery and Waikato-based Seeds Trust, and will receive $20,000 as well as an exhibition at the gallery.
Leading public art gallery curators Aaron Lister, Lucy Hammonds and Natasha Conland judged the prize which was for work exhibited nationally or internationally in the two years before January 2019. Pataialii's Solid Gold was shown at Te Tuhi in Pakuranga last year, drawing on her Samoan and Pākehā upbringing in West and Central Auckland.
The judges said Pataialii seems to test what a painting might be or how it might operate.
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"She paints on drop sheets and mink blankets, often with house paint, spray paint or charcoal—materials that reference the everyday and art traditions simultaneously. It is her ability as both a painter and an exhibition-maker that really stood out to the judges. The experiences she created in Solid Gold are ultimately exercises in creating space in which her painting can act, rather than just be."
Director of Tauranga Art Gallery Alice Hutchison will present Pataialii with the award in June and work with her to curate a 2020 exhibition.