Warren Maxwell receives The Arts Foundation New Generation Award
The Arts Foundation of New Zealand, Principal Sponsor Forsyth Barr, and Supporting Sponsor Freemasons New Zealand announced the inaugural recipients of the New Generation Awards on the evening of Wednesday, 22 November, at the Westpac St James Theatre in Wellington. The New Generation Awards celebrates artistic achievement with a $25,000 investment in the careers of each recipient.
Congratulations to 2006 New Generation artists:
Warren Maxwell - Ngāi Tūhoe – grew up in Whangarei and is the driving force behind many music-based projects. Warren is former front-man of Trinity Roots, saxophonist for Fat Freddy's Drop and leader of psychedelic blues quartet Little Bushman.
Eve Armstrong prefers to bring objects and ideas back into circulation through the research, collection and reconstruction of recycled materials. Objects and images of material refuse are organised into sculptural stacks, piles, collages and assemblages within layered packaging tape landscapes.
Tze Ming Mok lists the following top six interests in order of link entry frequency: politics, literature, evil, language, tools, humanity on her internet online bookmark library "del.icio.us". A first-generation New Zealand-born Chinese, holding an MA in Political Studies from the University of Auckland Tze Ming writes a popular Public Address weblog Yellow Peril. She also writes poetry, fiction, reviews, features and opinions.
Joe Sheehan, a Wellingtonian, is a jade-carver, has taken a contemporary look at the relevance and position of greenstone carving in today's world. His recent work looks at the commercialisation of the jade industry and the limitations it places on jade and its potential as a medium for relevant art practice. Along with more traditional forms of jewellery such as a necklace made from several hundred precision-cut discs of Russian Nephrite, other jade and pounamu works have included meticulously rendered ballpoint pens, a working lightbulb, a cassette tape that plays a recording of a river, sunglasses, and AA batteries. The skillful handling of hard stone combined with some hard thinking makes these everyday objects thoughtful commentaries on the way we see things.
Taika Waititi - Te-Whanau-a-Apanui, is a visual artist, actor, writer and director, from the Raukokore region of the East Coast. Involved in some of New Zealand's most innovative and successful productions, Taika writes and performs comedy and has won New Zealand's top comedy awards. Not only does he do stand-up gigs, he has also been critically acclaimed for his dramatic abilities, being nominated for Best Actor at the 2000 Nokia Film Awards. His short film, Two Cars, One Night, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and his following short, Tama Tu, won a string of international awards, also becoming eligible for Oscar nomination. His first feature, Eagle vs. Shark, is due for release in early 2007.
As with other Arts Foundation Awards, New Generation recipients are selected without their knowledge, meaning the Awards come as a surprise to them and the nation. The selection process for these awards was facilitated by Jon Bywater. Jon is a teacher, critic, theorist, and organiser of contemporary creative practices, specialising in visual art and music. He is currently the Programme Leader for Critical Studies at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. The selection process involved Jon meeting with pre-eminent art commentators and observers throughout the country.
"Freemasons New Zealand is one of the world's oldest and largest fraternal organsations with a history entrenched in the Arts. Charity is the public face of Freemasonry and the majority is directed at non-Masonic causes including supporting young people who show real talent and promise in their chosen field. Sharing the Arts Foundation's belief in the importance of awarding and celebrating young artists who have demonstrated richness, range, strength and depth in the early stage of their careers, Freemasons New Zealand encourages New Zealanders to aim high and achieve well for the benefit of the whole nation".
David Mace, The Grand Master, Freemasons New Zealand