Whanganui artist Jutta Humpfer is a third-time finalist for the coveted Parkin Drawing Prize.

Humpfer's work made the shortlist of 76 selected from 482 entries for this year's competition.

The trifecta success is especially impressive when considering that Humpfer uses no pencils or pens to create her drawings.

Her works look as if they have been "drawn" with pastels to produce misty landscapes when in fact her chosen materials are coloured pantyhose.


Humpfer has been exploring the intrinsic qualities of stretched nylon as a drawing medium for the past few years and her 2020 entry entitled Runners - Beginning Taxonomic Collection is a combined series of nine small works.

"I had a favourite pair of pantyhose that held a lot of memories for me.

"Because I was reluctant to throw them away, I decided to turn them into something else and that was how it started."

When friends learned about the work, they began donating their own damaged hosiery and Humpfer said she would like to start gathering stories to accompany her works.

She is not the only Parkin Prize artist to use unusual materials in her work.

Korari sticks and bed sheets are just some of the other interesting materials used to create works shortlisted in the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize.

Runners - Beginning Taxonomic Collection. Jutta Humpfer's selected work in the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize. Photo / Supplied
Runners - Beginning Taxonomic Collection. Jutta Humpfer's selected work in the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize. Photo / Supplied

The national drawing competition, with a major prize of $25,000, was launched by philanthropist and arts patron Chris Parkin eight years ago. Ten highly commended prizes worth $500 each will also be awarded.

The major prize has been increased by $5000 this year and Parkin said it feels like a good time to offer the added incentive.


"It will be interesting to see what works and themes come through for this exhibition, especially after we have experienced such a turbulent year," Parkin said.

"I'm pleased with my timing to increase the prize money to $25,000 because it's been a difficult year for many people, especially artists impacted by Covid-19."

An advisory panel, consisting of leading contemporary Māori artist, writer and curator Professor Robert Jahnke ONZM, Dr Sarah Farrar, head of curatorial and exhibitions at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and arts commentator and writer Dr Andrew Paul Wood, spent hours assessing the hundreds of entries before coming up with the short-list.

The works will be showcased at the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts at Queens Wharf in Wellington on August 4–30. The winning submission will be selected and announced by Charlotte Davy, head of art at Te Papa Tongarewa, at the gala announcement on Monday, August 3.

All the artworks will be for sale, giving admirers and collectors the opportunity to purchase some wonderful pieces which are unlikely to be seen again, given many of the finalists are not represented in any gallery.

"I encourage the public to get out and enjoy the exhibition during August and put their money where their mouth is by supporting local and buying the art," Parkin said.


Works in the award exhibition range in size from the small (30mm x 30mm) to the very large (2530mm x 2460 mm).

Entries have been received from throughout New Zealand, from Kerikeri to as far south as Invercargill, and one from a New Zealand artist residing in Melbourne, Australia.