A photograph taken somewhere south was the winning piece of art in the 2022 Taranaki Foundation Emergence Awards.
On Friday evening, a large crowd gathered for the 2022 Taranaki Foundation Emergence Awards ceremony at Percy Thomson Gallery.
Brett Morrison (23) took the winning photo in January this year when she was travelling around the South Island.
"I stopped on the road on a gloomy day near Hanmer Springs."
The photo was taken using a Canon AE-1 and Kentemere pan400 film. She says the camera has sentimental value as it was inherited from her father.
"It was made in the 1980s. I prefer black and white film as it offers a perspective we can't see with our own eyes."
She says winning the award is humbling, given the high calibre of work entered into the awards.
"There's a large variety of work on display in the gallery and all of it is to a very high standard. I'm very pleased with the win."
Brett won $2000 and an invitation to hold her own solo exhibition in the gallery in 2024. She also won the photography award.
"It's quite exciting to have the opportunity to display my works here at a later date."
Brett's entry was one of 57 in this year's awards sponsored by the Taranaki Foundation through the Taranaki Hauora Fund, established in 2018 in memory of Leon Squire, son of Kelvin and Carolyn Squire.
The works were judged by the assistant curator of contemporary art and collections at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/ Len Lye Centre Simon Gennard and curator and exhibitions team member at Puke Ariki Museum Justin Jade Morgan.
Both judges said the calibre of work was high, and picking winners was difficult, with it taking four hours to choose the winning works.
Taranaki Foundation chief executive Josh Hickford says sponsoring the awards was a pleasure.
"These awards unearth so much grassroots talent and allow the artists to show their works. I want to congratulate everyone who entered, the winners and the entrants, it was hard to pick winners with such a high calibre of work."
The runner-up artwork also had sentimental value, with Melissa McCullough (21) saying the painting is dedicated to the memory of her late mother.
"My mum passed away in April. This was a big project for me. She inspired me to be an artist so this award is dedicated to her."
Melissa also won the 2D non-painting award, receiving $700 in total.
She says the portrait was about recognising her mother as an artist because she used to exhibit in the gallery.
"Her pottery works linger on the gallery walls. The belonging this piece has here, she led me to enter and install. I've enraptured her forever in my life held in memory. The path for an artist, she is the reason my passion is my identity."
Melissa says her work consists of natural beeswax and resin rock.
"Through the encaustics medium, this large-scale piece captured the emotion through tonal changes and artistic perception."
Encaustics art involves honey bee materials derived from pollinating and dammar resin rock from hardwood trees.
She says she created the portrait using 50 layers of brushwork and texture.
"I identified a familiar face and characteristics held only from memory. Held in these layers are moments of healing for me. They unveil the half of me I received from my mum. In this portrait, I see a woman of optimism, vibrancy, radiance in beauty and personality."
Percy Thomson gallery director Laura Campbell says it's important to give young artists the platform to present their work.
"Emergence is all about providing a rare experience for our young people to show their abilities.
"It allows young artists to see their work in a public gallery, and grow their creative confidence.
"We are so thankful to have so many talented artists being so brave and sharing their beautiful artworks with our community. Congratulations to you all."
Supreme Award: Brett Morrison.
Supreme runner-up: Melissa McCullough.
Toi māori: Molly McCullogh.
Toi māori runner-up: Jamie Carr.
Judges encouragement award: Oliver Leuthart.
Director's choice: Hayley Elliott- Kernot.
Secondary school winner: Jan Alyssa Lamberte.
Secondary school runner-up: Robyn Thorpe.
Secondary school third: Ava Hashemi.
2D painting award: Jan Alyssa Lamberte.
2D non-painting award: Melissa McCullough.
Photography award: Brett Morrison.