Whanganui artist Jutta Humpfer is thrilled to be named as a finalist for this year's Parkin Drawing Prize competition.

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

"I am exploring the intrinsic qualities of stretched nylons and its use as a drawing medium," says the artist.

"My work attempts to bend the traditional definition of what is a drawing by stepping away from formal drawing materials."


It sounds absurd until you see the work Humpfer has created with clever placements of seams, gussets and stretching.

Humpfer's work Chemtrails is one of 79 selected from 472 entries for the national drawing competition launched by philanthropist and arts patron Chris Parkin seven years ago.

The competition offers a major prize of $20,000 and there are also 10 highly commended prizes worth $500 each to provide artists with an added incentive.

"The nature of drawing has always been the subject of discussion and debate and we are thrilled with the continued enthusiastic response for the seventh year of this competition," Parkin says.

"I am looking forward to seeing the diverse range of artworks, from the traditional and not so traditional."

Humpfer also made the shortlist for the competition last year and says it would be fantastic if she were to win a prize in 2019.

"I've been working with waste materials as art mediums for a while but I am endlessly fascinated with the nylon hose because I don't have complete control over it.

"It is more like I'm having a conversation with it."

Jutta Humpfer was a finalist for the Parkin Prize in 2018.
Jutta Humpfer was a finalist for the Parkin Prize in 2018.

She has a vision of what she wants each work to look like but the material has a mind of its own and she has learned to literally run with it.

"Sometimes my cat helps me out as well," she says.

The 2019 Parkin Prize finalists were chosen by an advisory panel, consisting of artist, writer, curator and Professor Robert Jahnke, New Zealand artist Darryn George, and Charlotte Davy, head of art at Te Papa Tongarewa.

The works will be showcased at the Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington from August 6 until September 8 and the winning submission will be selected by art dealer John Gow on August 5.