Walters Prize 2024 / Aotearoa Contemporary

Walters Prize 2024 / Aotearoa Contemporary

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

July 5, 2024
Walters Prize 2024
Aotearoa Contemporary
July 6–October 20, 2024
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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
New Zealand
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–5pm
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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki opens Walters Prize 2024 alongside new triennial Aotearoa Contemporary profiling a new generation of artists.

The Walters Prize 2024 finalists Juliet Carpenter, Owen Connors, Brett Graham (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura) and Ana Iti (Te Rarawa) will open solo presentations of new work on July 6 alongside a new triennial Aotearoa Contemporary featuring 22 artists and collectives from New Zealand.

The Walters Prize, now almost 25 years old, has a long history of foregrounding diversity in practice and outstanding New Zealand art for national and international audiences. The most recent prize winners, Mataaho Collective this year won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale 2024 for Best Participant in the International Exhibition.

“This year’s exhibition by four exceptional New Zealand artists, is sculptural, emotional, and haunted by the place of history in our contemporary life,” say curators Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua and Natasha Conland.

Walters Prize finalists are nominated by an independent jury for artworks exhibited in the preceding years that has made an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand. To determine the Walters Prize winner from the four finalists, an international judge is invited to New Zealand to view the artworks presented here and assess their merits.

This year’s winner will be awarded by curator, author and biotechnologist Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung at a ceremony on October 4 in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Also opening on 6 July, Aotearoa Contemporary provides a platform for new art and ideas in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The decision to present the prize with Aotearoa Contemporary “speaks to the health and breadth of art from Aotearoa New Zealand” say Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua and Natasha Conland. “It is an important message in this climate that we think through how a new generation will respond to our times. With this generation of artists we see art’s return in a state of joy, excess, play and incredulous mythmaking. Drawing deep into ground, place and the body in all its slippery states. Here is a cover for the artists’ power, a place in which subjectivity can provide a resistance to gross normalisation.”

The inaugural edition of Aotearoa Contemporary has been supported by a historic partnership with local iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in a gesture that reflects their role in founding manaakitanga (hospitality) for all manuhiri (visitors) to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as the city’s tangata whenua (local people). Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair says, “Our tupuna Apihai Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres of land on the Waitematā on 18th September in 1840 to become a city which welcomed people, cultures and ideas from afar. Our relationship with Auckland Art Gallery is founded in the shared goal to foster the arts reflective of our multi-cultural community in Aotearoa.”

The artists featured in Aotearoa Contemporary are: Emerita Baik, Leo Baldwin-Ramult, Heidi Brickell, Pelenakeke Brown, Jack Hadley, Ruth Ige, Hannah Ireland, Xin Ji, Reece King, Qianye Lin and Qianhe Lin, Te Ara Minhinnick, Ammon Ngakuru, Amit Noy, Sung Hwan Bobby Park, Meg Porteous, Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa, Tyrone Te Waa, The Killing (collective), Anh Trân, Manuha’apai Vaeatangitau, Jahra Wasasala and George Watson.

Aotearoa Contemporary is proudly supported by The Chartwell Trust, Auckland Art Gallery Foundation, and a consortium of individual donors.

The Walters Prize is made possible with the generous support of the following: founding benefactors and principal donors—Erika and Robin Congreve, Dame Jenny Gibbs. Major donors—Dayle Mace, Christopher and Charlotte Swasbrook.

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
July 5, 2024

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