Whanganui High School student Rose Hird is the winner of the youth award in the 2019 Whanganui Arts Review for her self-portrait Rōhi.

The 15-year-old's work was selected for the WDC Youth Committee Youth Recognition Award by judge Andrew Clifford, of Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Auckland.

"I based it on Rita Angus' painting Rutu," says Hird.

"I thought about the symbols and techniques she used and how I could create my own self-portrait."

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Rose Hird with her winning painting Rohi on show at the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui. Photo/Stuart Munro
Rose Hird with her winning painting Rohi on show at the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui. Photo/Stuart Munro

Angus' 1951 work was painted with oils while Rose has used acrylics and added her own symbolism.

She has depicted herself wearing the scarf that symbolises her Scouts New Zealand membership and while the Angus painting depicted a white lotus flower, Hird's one features a red rose.

"Obviously it's my name and I like the flower as well."

The name Rose is Rōhi in te reo Māori and the rose in Hird's painting sit behind her head like a halo.

She has also included a scotch thistle in the foreground which she says symbolises her Scottish heritage and is a nod to her grandmother, who came from Aberdeen.

Hird was one of a record number of young artists to submit her work to the open age art competition this year.

Rōhi, along with all the others winning works and finalists 2019 pattillo Whanganui Arts Review exhibition is showing at Sarjeant on the Quay until May 19.

The Sarjeant Gallery will be running Behind the Scenes Sarjeant Tours for Artists Open Studios this weekend and exhibitions by printmaker Anthony Davies and ceramicist Kate Fitzharris will be open for viewing. Call 06 349 0506 to find out more.

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