A key aim of a finalist’s artwork in a national drawing competition is to raise publicity about missing woman Breanna Muriwai.
A total of 500 entries were received for the 2023 Parkin Drawing Prize, which has been reduced to a shortlist of 86 works.
One of the works is by Cam Munroe, from Ōtaki, called The Purple Suitcase.
“My artwork, on a bubble wrap bag I found on Te Horo beach, is a commemoration of Brianna Muriwai, a young woman who disappeared under suspicious circumstances,” his description of the artwork said.
“This piece seeks to raise awareness about Brianna’s disappearance.
“She was last seen on Te Horo beach heading north on foot.
“The artwork prominently features a depiction of a purple suitcase that is still missing and is crucial to the open investigation.
“My hope is this artwork will serve as a reminder of Brianna’s story.”
Muriwai, aged 22, was last seen early on Sunday, August 28, 2022 at Te Horo Beach. She has never been found and there have been no arrests.
Investigators believe the two men who were with Muriwai before she disappeared hold the key to what happened.
The Parkin Drawing Prize competition has a major prize of $25,000, as well as 10 highly commended prizes of $500.
The national competition, now into its 11th year, was founded with a generous donation by arts patron Chris Parkin in 2012, after he discovered the New Zealand art world was missing a reasonably substantial drawing award.
“It’s once again thrilling to see such a strong number of entries with a range of mediums used,” Parkin said.
“It goes to show that in the face of adversity, creativity in all its forms seems to thrive, and the human spirit shines through.”
The competition, in association with the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, promotes excellence and innovation in drawing in all its forms (processes, materials and ideas) and aims to play an important role in fostering New Zealand drawing practice.
The advisory panel is made up New Zealand artist Matt Gauldie, Dunedin Public Art Gallery curator Lucy Hammonds, and art curator and former gallery director Helen Kedgley.
The winning submission will be selected and announced by Auckland Art Gallery chief executive Kirsten Lacy at the gala opening of the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington on August 2.
The Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition will run until Sunday, September 11, at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.
Four other artists from Kāpiti, and their artwork citations below, feature in the shortlist.
Pre-Porridge, by Ruth Mitchener, from Raumati South: ”Dawn holds rare calm moments that you cling to like morning dew, only to evaporate when everyone else arrives. The air is still asleep, its breath only noticeable by a few specks of dust dancing in the sun’s first kiss. The same bowl, the same meal, the same seat. The same stretches, the same yawns, the same worn slippers padding softly over the same kitchen floor. There is beauty and introspection to be found in the everyday, where it’s just you, looking at the promise of an empty bowl rendered in the crouching early light.”
Temporary Site Plan (Variation 1), by Elisabeth Vullings, from Paraparaumu: “This work was created in response to the relocation of two large beehive pottery kilns (built in Te Horo in the early 1970s), by acclaimed potter Mirek Smišek. The kilns were sited directly in line with the recently completed Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway and therefore scheduled for demolition. After much consultation they were relocated and preserved with painstaking precision. These handmade tiles contain imprints created from the remnants of tape used to hold the broken kiln brick pieces together in order to be glued and re-used; offering value to commonplace materials and honouring the concealed work involved in the relocation process.”
Taniwha, by Morag Stokes, from Waikanae: “In this drawing, a snake-like form is at one with the land -a Taniwha protector. My explorations in Chinese ink and graphite have often resulted in these undulating forms, strongly suggestive of this supernatural being from Maori mythology. Merging here with the land, it represents the protection Aoteroa needs and hopes for in times of climatic turmoil which has been very evident this year. My drawing tools were ribbed condoms inflated to varying degrees.”
Bored Games, by Claire Ellery, from Paraparaumu: “Bored Games is a contemporary process led art project. Drawing intuitively using themes of repetition shapes and lines, using Indian ink on reclaimed materials and patched together square by square. Through this art project, the artist seeks to create a dialogue between the viewer and the artwork, prompting them to think about the complexities of contemporary society. By using a medium that is both familiar and unconventional, Bored Games challenges viewers to confront their preconceived notions of how society should be structured and encourages them to reflect on the ways in which they participate in these patterns and structure.”