Testing boundaries is nothing new for UCOL Arts lecturer Andrea du Chatenier, and her selection into Aotearoa New Zealand’s prestigious Parkin Drawing Prize follows suit.
Pushing the limits of what can be considered a drawing, Andrea was one of the 100 out of 500 entrants as a finalist selected to show her work to the Prize judges.
The Parkin Prize is a national award and an annual exhibition held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. It promotes drawing in all its forms – as discovery, a testing of ideas, and decision making.
As a sculptor, for Andrea drawing is a test tile – used to test different types of glazes and ceramic work and explore the potential of clay.
“Historically drawing is part of the process for creating a painting; quick sketches or anatomical drawings which then get thrown out once the final product is created,” she says. “By bending the definition of drawing, people can start to question their interpretation of what a drawing truly is. This award is about celebrating the ephemeral quality of drawing.”
As such, Andrea’s prize entry ‘Tile #171, Wire and Glaze’ is a test tile ‘drawing’ – initially created as part of her research into ceramics, exploring the relationship between form and surface.
“It’s a bit cheeky really, entering this into the award as clay isn’t often considered fine arts, it’s more of a low brow material. I believe that drawings are the pieces that get lost in the process, but are every bit as beautiful as the final artwork, whether in pencil, ink or clay.”
Alongside Andrea, two alumni of the Whanganui UCOL Bachelor of Fine Arts, Katheryn McDonald and Margaret Silverwood were also selected as finalists. Christchurch artist Hannah Beehre took out the grand prize with a mixed medium work made of charcoal, Indian ink and tea.