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Raw image wins finals spot

By UCOL on Friday, 11 August 2017

An award winning photograph of a dog by UCOL lecturer Debbie Hahn

A serendipitous moment captured by UCOL Senior lecturer in Design Debbie Hahn earned her a place in the finals of the 2017 National Contemporary Art Awards recently.

Debbie’s photographic work Raw was one of the 51 artworks by 49 artists selected from across New Zealand as finalists for the prestigious awards and exhibition

Raw, and an associated compilation of images, is inspired in part by well-known photographer Anne Noble’s series Ruby’s Room
Debbie, with her trademark subtle humour and the modelling services of her 14 year old border Collie/Lab cross Playdoh, set about recording their own spin titled Playdoh visits Ruby’s Room. A selection of those images featured in the Sargent Gallery’s Art Review and the UCOL staff show earlier in the year. 

In all her works, Debbie invites a viewer's personal interpretation, bringing their individual experiences to play a part in the specific decoding of each image. She uses chance and serendipitous happenings in the process of image making, along with controlled staged photography.

This year’s judge, Elizabeth Caldwell, Director of City Gallery Wellington, assessed the 236 entries for this year’s National Contemporary Art Award.

Finalists were selected through a blind judging process where Caldwell reviewed artists’ statements, images and optional video works online without seeing the identity of the artist.

“Faced with a tremendous number of submissions and a great variety of media with the entries – jewellery, ceramics, painting, photography, moving image – the preliminary judging was certainly a challenge,” she says.

Managed by Waikato Museum, this is the 18th year of the National Contemporary Art Awards. The exhibition runs until Sunday 5 November 2017.