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The Adam Portraiture Award 2016, and Elemental: Merv Turner & Margaret Foley. Opening night (pics)

16 September – 9 October 2016

An exhibition of 36 paintings by finalists in this year's Adam Portraiture Award, one of the country's premier art prizes, opens at Percy Thomson Gallery this Friday, 16 September, at 7pm.

The award is held every two years and the exhibition is traditionally one of the most popular on the arts calendar.

The Adam Portraiture Award promotes the best of contemporary portrait painting from artists throughout New Zealand. It is an initiative of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pukena Whakaata, Wellington.

The 2016 winning portrait was painted by Andre Brönnimann of Whanganui. Andre will be a guest at our opening event on Friday night.

Brönnimann's portrait of the three 'spiritual sisters' from Taranaki, Te Rawanake Robinson-Coles, Inahaa Te Urutahi Waikerepuru and Ria Wihapi-Waikerepuru took 412 hours to complete, and will now become a part of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery's permanent collection.
2016 Adam Portraiture Award Winner, Sisters by André Brönnimann
Mette Skougaard, the 2016 Adam Award judge, says of the portrait - "The winning portrait is technically very well done. It combines many styles, but at the same time as it paraphrases the history of Western art, it has clear references to something specific for New Zealand. It makes this portrait very strong in relation to issues of New Zealand contemporary life as well as combining it with universal questions of identity, family and personal history." Patron of the Adam Portraiture award, Denis Adam said 'the quality of Portraiture in New Zealand is as good as anywhere in the world and the ADAM award is invaluable in reinstating this poignant art form for the people of Aotearoa.' Famous New Zealanders such as Dick Frizzell, Tame Iti, Chris Knox and Chris Cairns sit amongst self-portraits and portraits of family members and friends and while portrait painting is a genre in its own right this competition intersects with contemporary art concerning issues of identity and representation. Denis and Verna Adam, the long term patrons of the Award, established it in recognition that portraiture is not only an important art form, but provides a pictorial record for future generations. The biennale award has been generously sponsored by the Adam Foundation since 2002.
"If you ask me what I paint, my answer would be one word—light."
The subject matter is really of secondary importance to Merv Turner in his landscapes,still lifes and portraits. He is a highly talented artist who is equaly successful in oils or watercolour, capturing light and its various moods. His work shows a great versatility - from spontaneous sketches to careful studies produced by time honoured glazing methods.

Born in London, Merv exhibits his work all over the North Island and is keenly sought after as a tutor in oils, watercolour and calligraphy. He has taught at the Great Barrier Summer Workshop with Graham Braddock.

Merv studied art at Elim School Fine Arts and majored in painting. He taught primary school for 20 years and in 1986 became a professional artist holding exhibitions and running workshops throughout the North Island, teaching drawing and painting in oils and watercolors.

He has won numerous awards including the inaugral National Art Award in Taupo and the Taranaki Art Award (watercolour).
Margaret Foley was introduced to pottery in the 70s, and with help from family and friends, erected a large wood-fired salt kiln on her, and husband Terry's, Midhirst property.

Margaret's work is quirky, often unique and unusual. Trademarks are her indentations, patterns and symbols, pressed into the clay.
"I like to think I can come up with something different, am always on the lookout for new ideas, trying new things. I've got so many ideas and I'm running out of time!"
Her work has been shown in exhibitions throughout New Zealand, and found its way into far-away lands such as Mongolia. Highlights have been selection to the Fletcher exhibition in the Auckland Museum, four times.
Merv Turner called in with his paintings for the ELEMENTAL exhibition. Merv is joining forces with potter Margaret Foley for the exhibition. Merv is pictured with his oil painting, Late Afternoon, Whangamomona. We love it, Merv!

Opening Night

Thanks to all those who braved the inclement weather to make the opening of our Adam Portraiture Award and ELEMENTAL exhibitions such a wonderful event.
It was a pleasure to welcome Whanganui artist and winner of the Adam Portraiture Award 2016, André Brönnimann, to our opening event last night. André's portrait of the three 'spiritual sisters' from Taranaki; Te Rawanake Robinson-Coles, Inahaa Te Urutahi Waikerepuru and Ria Wihapi-Waikerepuru took more than 400 hours to paint. Also present at the opening event was one of the 'sisters',Te Rawanake Robinson-Coles. Te Rawanake, from Normanby, adorned André with the cloak she wore in the portrait, for this special occasion. The portrait started with a photo shoot by photographer Albert Sword. It then took André around two years to complete. The portrait is made of oil on linen and measures 183cm wide by 122cm high.
Margaret Foley and Merv Turner are exhibiting in ELEMENTAL, a collaboration between these two well-known and much-admired Taranaki artists.
Sue Morton and Margaret Springett

Sue Morton and Margaret Springett
Donna Hitchcock, Maree Liddington and Lorna Davies

Donna Hitchcock, Maree Liddington and Lorna Davies
Rolland McKellar from Opunake and Coastal news

Rolland McKellar from Opunake and Coastal news
Peter Dalziel and Roger Hignett

Peter Dalziel and Roger Hignett
Margaret Dalziel and Jenny Hignett

Margaret Dalziel and Jenny Hignett
Rhonda Bunyan

Rhonda Bunyan
Michelle Rowland and Rhonda Bunyan

Michelle Rowland and Rhonda Bunyan
Bill Davies and Phillip Hitchcock

Bill Davies and Phillip Hitchcock
Lyall Barrett and Roger Hignett

Lyall Barrett and Roger Hignett
Lorna Davies and Margaret Springett

Lorna Davies and Margaret Springett
Michelle Rowland, Rhonda Bunyan and Gloria Webby

Michelle Rowland, Rhonda Bunyan and Gloria Webby