Micheline Robinson from Paraparaumu Beach has been named as one of 52 finalists at the Waikato National Contemporary Art Awards.

Starting her career in Vancouver, Canada, following it through in the UK and now establishing herself in Paraparaumu Beach, Micheline has been a professional artist for 20 years.

"This is the first time I've entered this competition.

"I'm very happy, it's wonderful to get recognition that you're on the right path.

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"Even if I don't win I'm over the moon to be one of the 52 selected in this country."

Taking a week to complete, using inks and acrylics on large paper, Loneliness is part of a larger series of works of the same name.

The series consists of several works inspired by life events in Micheline's life and questions the human need for connection and the psychological effects of its absence.

"This series developed as a result of witnessing loneliness in many forms in the last few years.

"Loneliness from the dementia and loneliness from loss of connection suffered by my grandmother, to a family member dealing with depression, to my own loneliness after a recent fracture and an earlier experience of empty nest.

"As I navigate through understanding and managing long-distance relationships as an expatriate and exploring what it means to be connected, I wanted to investigate the theme of loneliness, to give it a voice and perhaps open a dialogue."

Micheline's work talks of the importance of deep connection that goes beyond being physically surrounded, "when we are going through something that is unique to us at that moment in time, feelings of loneliness can still be overbearing.

"This work depicts a light filled creature wandering in a void, unable to connect or even reflect its own light."

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Making the finals of the Waikato National Contemporary Art Awards Micheline said, "I think it confirms that painting is not dead and that there is still room for the painted surface to be part of the contemporary dialogue.

"On a personal level, it's a wonderful validation that my efforts to go forth with painting have not been wasted."