TSB Community Trust EMERGENCE Award
for Young Taranaki Artists

29 March – 29 April 2018

Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford, with the generous sponsorship of TSB Community Trust, has organised and mounted a Taranaki-based competition and exhibition for young emerging visual artists.

All entrants were born in Taranaki, are living in Taranaki, or have attended secondary school in Taranaki, and aged between 15 and 26 years on 23 February 2018, the date entries closed.

TSB Community Trust Logo, white

Supported by

TSB Community Trust

Percy Thomson Gallery logo

in conjunction with

Percy Thomson Gallery

TSB Community Trust Emergence Award​
2018 Winner
Morgan Hancock
23 years old

Trip to the dairy
Graphite, pen, acryclic, embroidery on Fabriano paper
$1600 SOLD

"I was born in the 90’s and have always been inspired by 80’s and 90’s fashion in New Zealand so you will find a lot of quintessential kiwi icons in this piece. Creating that nostalgic feel with the colour and hues takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of my parents and family in Taranaki. I have always loved fashion and pop culture in particular, and being able to paint the clothes I personally would have always wanted for myself when I was younger, but didn’t have, was aspirational and very satisfying. Fashion, friends, kiwiana and a slice of NZ is what I was aiming for in a ‘Trip to the dairy'."

2018 Judges

Jaenine Parkinson
Director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery
Te Pūkena Whakaata

Jaenine Parkinson became Director of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkena Whakaata in late 2017. Previously she was Arts, Museums and Heritage Advisor at Kāpiti Coast District Council and Exhibitions Project Coordinator at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Recently, Jaenine was chosen as one of the few representatives attending the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She has held positions as Programmes Manager for an arts and culture centre in Ottawa, Canada and as Director of Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Dunedin. She holds a Masters in Art History from the University of Auckland and has undertaken a number of independent curatorial and writing projects.

John McLean
Taranaki artist

Award winning Taranaki artist John McLean lives with his wife Chris on Mimi farm, a slice of paradise in North Taranaki. Their rural lifestyle is developed around a large measure of self-sufficiency and a love for the land and its conservation. He works full-time in his studio and enjoys the rural peace and solitude. 

McLean has been an artist for over 40 years. His first 20 years focused on realist painting, in a process based on close observation and highly developed technique.  By 1995 McLean's passion for realism had found resolution and gave way to a more intuitive style, for which he is now most known and recognized.  

The promptings that led to this transition were subtle but insistent, leading to an internal, imaginary vision.  Unlike his former controlled and formulaic work, these paintings seek processes that disrupt the familiar in order to pry out the unexpected.  McLean's paintings begin as abstract-expressionist compositions and the eventual figurative content evolves through his continued thoughtful involvement and painterly search.

Emergence 2018 winner's trophy designed and made by Taranaki glass artist Richard Landers.

Interview with Morgan Hancock
Winner of TSB Community Trust Emergence Award 2018

Is art your passion in life?

I always want to create things! I always have and I always will.

Were you a creative child, and were you keen on drawing and painting ?

From a very young age I always had the urge to paint or draw. I would sit and draw the plants outside, the mountain and turn the cows on the farm into different cartoon characters. At primary school I was always asked by other children if I could draw their Title pages for them and was told I needed to spend more time on the content of my school projects instead of making them look pretty!

Were you encouraged by those around you?

I have been very fortunate that my family, boyfriend and friends have always supported me. Mum and dad encouraged me to do art and would book me in to art lessons so I could learn more skills.

What was your favourite thing to draw/paint? Have you had art ‘phases’?

When I was younger I loved drawing cartoons. I’ve been through phases of street art inspired works but I think I have always loved drawing people and fashion.

Is there anyone else in your family who is artistic?

My aunty Donna is  amazing at pottery and my Great Grandmother was a painter.

Have you won any other awards?

I won the TCM Design Top Student Award in 2014. This award was for the top designer of the Creative Technologies Diploma at WITT. 

Did you take art at secondary school and did you become interested in ‘pop style’ art at that time?

I took art and graphics throughout high school. We studied Pop Art which I was very interested in but was also inspired by the street art scene too.

Was there anyone who influenced you then/now?

At high school I was influenced by artists such as Andrej Karwacki and Conor Harrington who are both contemporary. Now I’m obsessed with the work of Irish illustrator Laura Callaghan. In her works she captures the desires of the instagram generation and the pressures on woman in the digital world of the 21st century.

Did you choose between a career in graphic design and formal art? If so, was it difficult?

I always knew I would do both. For me, graphic design and art have always been closely linked. When I create art there are quite often design elements within it. When I create graphic design, I often use my illustration work to enhance the design and make it more original.

You are a graphic designer? How does this tie in with your art/style/practice?

work full time as a graphic designer for Green Cross Health and create art in my spare time. I love that I am never bored and always have something to do creatively!

Do you think young full-time artists have it hard?

I think it would be quite hard for full-time artists. You aren’t guaranteed a steady flow of income and if you are taking on a lot of commission work I think you would need to make sure you had spare time to create the art that you want to make, not what others want you to make. I give huge credit to anyone who is a full time artist. It is a very brave thing to do but exciting to be able to make a career from what you are passionate about.

Do you prefer to use a computer or hand draw?

I prefer to hand draw because I find it easier to achieve all of the details I want.  The  world is turning digital so I also feel it is important to be able to learn to draw on the computer as well but this is limited to the level of technology you can afford.

Where does your inspiration come from when you are working on a piece of art?

I always draw inspiration from fashion and popular culture. Quite often I draw clothes I wish I had, but could never afford. Before I start a piece I will always have a mood board full of snippets from social media, the web and from my own photos. I like to draw certain aspects from images that intrigue me and pull them all together in my art.

What process do you go through before you start the work?

My artworks are usually very planned. I have the main idea I want to portray and usually mock up the composition in a quick sketch or on my computer before I even start the drawing process. Living in a flat with not much work space means I can’t leave my work out all the time. I try to be organized so I know exactly what I’m doing and try get it done quickly so I’m not taking over the dining table every night!

Do you carry a sketch book around with you?

I don’t usually take a sketch book but I will always have my phone just in case I see something I can take a snap of to draw inspiration from later.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting or the way it is executed?

To me, both are really important. The subject is important to draw people in initially but then I love seeing people’s reactions when they take a closer look at the artwork. I am a perfectionist when it comes to the way my art is executed and nothing is complete until all the finer details are perfect.

​You have used embroidery and stitching in your work. Is this something new?

I started using stitching in my work mid last year. I worked as a graphic designer for Trelise Cooper and being immersed in the fashion industry gave me knew ideas for my art. I feel the stitching gives an extra depth and surprise factor. I love making the stitching subtle so it takes people a while to realize it is thread and not paint.

You mentioned in your artist’s statement that you love fashion and pop culture. What makes the 80’s and 90's culture so nostalgic for you?

I was born in the 90’s and maybe it’s the fact that I missed out on being an adult in the 80s/90s that makes me want to illustrate it – painting 90s clothing that I could have loved to wear but was too young. Its also an era before smart phones and social media so the way people communicated was so different.

Was this work done specifically for Emergence?

I created ‘A trip to the Dairy’ specifically for Emergence. I saw it as an opportunity to try and create my best and biggest work so far. I’m grateful that this exhibition started this year as it really pushed me as an artist to put my best work forward. Being a Taranaki award, I also wanted to bring a feeling of nostalgia and home through my artwork.

Will winning the Emergence Award make any difference to where you see yourself as an artist?

Winning the award has helped me know that I’m on the right track. I create art because I have always had an urge to do it and I get this feeling of satisfaction that I can’t get from doing anything else. To know that the judges related to my work means a lot to me and makes me excited for what’s ahead.

Do you see yourself as a full-time artist any time in the future?

My dream would be to have my own studio/ business for graphic design, illustration and to sell my paintings. But first – I need to learn, get as much experience as I can and save up the pennies!

Any advice to give young artists?

Keep doing what you’re doing! If you have a passion for art make sure you stick with it, experiment, up-skill and make the time for it. Never give up on something that makes you happy!

​You artwork has sold. How do you feel about that?

I’m really stoked! I will be sad to see it go but I’m happy that someone liked it so much that they wanted to buy it – very exciting!

Second Prize

Still Life of Beads
Bridget Mestrom
Age 20
Acrylic on canvas


"I chose to paint these because of the way the bottom bead captures light asit is made from glass. By stacking the beads I was able to capture howbeautiful each one was by placing them outside of their usual compositionwhich would be part of a bracelet."

Third Prize

Emelia French
Age 23
Oil and embroidery on wool


"This work is one piece extracted form a collection of paintings. My paintings operate as a series of beginnings, and are the remnants of embodied moods, attitudes and persona’s - what is left over after a light encounter with speculative modes and models for approaching painting with contemporary capitalism. I think of my paintings as free-range paintings: not yet liberated from hyper-capitalism and its cycles of consumption, they operate as evocative token gestures that can temporarily relieve and/or suspend individual anxieties. The painting, evoking a protective, cave like, shallow dwelling, provides what Gaston Bachelard calls ‘hide and seek places where the mind can go on holiday for a while and think about nothing... a fertile laziness’. Lingering daydreams that have become anchored in a physical reality, my paintings are provisional samples for alternative ways of being."

Fourth Prize

Two Hunters
Oisin Quinn
Age 18
Mixed media


Stratford Camera Club Photography Award

A Plastic Leak in Consumerism
Ayla Hutchinson
Age 18
Photograph of sculpture


"This photo is one of a series I took for my level 3 NCEA sculpture board. My work is about how in today’s square-shaped world (from houses, appliances, packaging and cities) we use and throw out masses of plastic. My work focuses on what’s in our fridges and the answer is plastic. 

I purposely built my sculpture in the river to emphasise the impact plastic and waste has on our environment. I projected various images of overpopulation, pollution and nature onto the sculpture in the evening, the image projected on the sculpture in this image is a desert which I link to climate change and how nature as we know it could disappear from our actions."

Dale Copeland Award

Connor Smith
Age 24
Photograph on acrylic


"I am an abstract photographic artist, inspired by my love of cinema. I like to create highly subjective content, with each piece still holding a great personal resonance; acting as an emotional mirror for when I generated the work - a simulacrum of a time and emotion. I eschew Photoshop and achieve my results through minimal digital affectation.

Animus is a meditation on the infinite and acceptance of our place within this concept; and the journey of personal discovery and subsequent emotional dichotomy which ensues. My hope is for each and every individual to connect with the piece and find their own truth hidden within."

Stratford Art Society Award

Just a Touch of Glitter
Melissa McCullough
Age 17
Acrylic paint, glitter

$550 SOLD

"I’ve lived in Stratford all my life, and I’m a year 13 student at Sacred Heart Girls College, where I’ve studied art from year 9. I enjoy creating works of art and I’m always painting and coming up with fresh ideas. My love for the use of glitter was inspired by the New Zealand artist Rueben Paterson. I like the diversity of light when I’m using glitter, and I like to used bright colours creating that gleaming wow factor. The combination of the two is a reflection of my happy personality that creates a sparkle."

​Secondary School Award

Protea Portrait
Rhiannon Higgs
Age 16
Pencil drawing, image manipulation


"Protea Portrait incorporates my own pencil drawing with image manipulation, which reflects the integration of plants and portraiture."

Graphic Design Award

Love Story by Francis Lai
Nicole Jeanson
Age 16
Digital design


"This piece is meant to be sentimental and nostalgic for me as a person. The title of the artwork is the song that used to play on my grandmothers music box; I have always found it to be very nostalgic to listen to as it brings back many memories both fond and painful. A few of my memories, which are shown in the artwork, can be generalized to moments that anyone can have, while some are more specific to my own experiences. My goal for this piece, however, is for those viewing it to revisit their own memories, even the small ones, and just experience whatever they may feel in those moments while looking at my story."

3D Award

Joshua Sands
Age 24
Ceramic sculpture


"Oracle is a continuation of themes and ceramic sculpture techniques explored in the artists 2016 artwork, ‘Utopia’. Blindfolded, the figure constructs a utopian crown of dwelling, and church spires, fortified by a sealed gate. Is the city an example of an ideal religious harmony, or does the blindfolded obscure the figure from its potential?"

Director's and People's Choice Awards

The winner of Director's Choice in the TSBCT Emergence Award for Young Taranaki Artists is 18-year-old Blake Tanner. 'Snail Mail', acrylic. 

Director Rhonda Bunyan has 'lived' with the artworks for a month before making her decision for this award.

"I warmed to Snail Mail when it first came in as a digital file. The work is small, precise with good technique. It is an interesting and original work that begs inquiry. The more you look, the more you see. It tells a story, is futuristic and thoughtful. The colour palette is sympathetic to the subject.”

Hayley Elliott-Kernot was voted favourite artwork in the People's Choice section of the TSBCT Emergence Award for Young Taranaki Artists 2018, receiving $200. 'Wahine', pastel.

Director's Award

Snail Mail
Blake Tanner
18 years


'Snail Mail is a continuation and further exploration into a past series of works that carried a theme of finding purpose and explored the idea of a robotic entity gaining a form(s) of human emotion. For this particular piece I wished to explore the way in which something very mundane and uninteresting (such as posting or waiting for your mail) could encapture and amuse/fascinate an entity who previously lived a very basic unfeeling life. I wished to portray this idea in such a way that would still remain fun, lighthearted, quirky and a tad silly. The main inspiration for using mail was partly due to a very frustrating and tedious delivery I had to deal with and I wished to express the humorous side of the ordeal and such lead to the visual pun “snail mail”.'

People's Choice Award

Hayley Elliott-Kernot
22 years

$500 SOLD

'Wahine depicts the traditions of Maori Culture. The young woman is direct, looking boldly at the viewer, proud of her people. She wears a huia feather in her hair, a symbol which traditionally signified importance and honour. The young woman has a moko. This also is a symbol of importance, it shows she is proud to display her Maori heritage. The necklace she wears is a tiki, a tiki in some tribes represents good luck and knowledge. This is significant in the picture as the woman is protecting her culture by carrying on the knowledge and traditions of her people.'

Art and graphic design fuel Morgan Hancock's creative passion

Taranaki Daily News
5 April 2018


Morgan Hancock's teachers at primary school sometimes told her off for spending so much time illustrating her work, but her artistic enthusiasm has paid off.

Hancock, 23, has won the inaugural TSB Community Trust Emergence Award For Young Taranaki Artists, which was announced on Thursday at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford.

"At primary school I was always asked by other children if I could draw their title pages for them and was told I needed to spend more time on the content of my school projects instead of making them look pretty," Hancock said.

Hancock, who was born in Stratford, studied graphic design at WITT and works full time in Auckland as a graphic artist, but enjoys doing her art in her spare time.

"I love that I am never bored and always have something to do creatively. I always knew I would do both. For me, graphic design and art have always been closely linked.

"When I create art there are quite often design elements within it. When I create graphic design, I often use my illustration work to enhance the design and make it more original."

Her winning mixed media work 'Trip to the Dairy' incorporates stitching, something Hancock learned in her last year at WITT and when she worked for designer Trelise Cooper.

"Being immersed in the fashion industry gave me new ideas for my art. I feel the stitching gives an extra depth and surprise factor. I love making the stitching subtle so it takes people a while to realise it is thread and not paint."
Percy Thomson Gallery director Rhonda Bunyan said she was delighted with the 35 entries and the collective creative talent of the young Taranaki artists.

The biennial event, sponsored by the TSB Community Trust, replaces the previous annual youth awards held at the gallery.
Judges for the award were Taranaki artist John McLean and NZ Portrait Gallery director Jaenine Parkinson. 

Hancock won $2000 and a trophy by Taranaki glass artist Richard Landers. Second-placed was Bridget Mestrom, who won $500 for 'Still Life of Beads'.

Third place went to Emelia French for  'Eggshells' and Oisin Quinn was fourth with 'Two Hunters'.

Other winners were: Stratford Camera Club Photography Award $200 Ayla Hutchinson, 'A Plastic Leak in Consumerism'; Graphic Design Award $300 Nicole Jeanson, 'The Secret Life of Francis Lai'; 3D Award $300 Joshua Sands, 'Oracle'; Dale Copeland Award, Connor Smith, 'Anumus'; Secondary School Award $300 Rhiannon Higgs, 'Protea Potrait'; Stratford Art Society Award $100 Melissa McCullough, 'Just a Touch of Glitter'.

Farewell I, and Fairwell II - Alice Blinkhorne, 21 yearsPhotograph on chiffon. $600(Fairwell I SOLD)
Farewell I, and Fairwell II

Alice Blinkhorne, 21 years

Photograph on chiffon. $600

(Fairwell I SOLD)

Bush Pray - William Bennett, 23 years Oil. $2500
Bush Pray

William Bennett, 23 years

Oil. $2500

The Sunset Band
Stu Morris, 23 years
Acyrlic. $1300

Into the Deep
Samantha Perrett, 15 years
Acyrlic, charcoal. $60

Pacific Glory - Emily Moffitt,19 YearsWatercolour. $250
Pacific Glory

Emily Moffitt,19 Years

Watercolour. $250

Shy - Melissa Marriott, 19 YearsMixed media and gold leaf. $230

Melissa Marriott, 19 Years

Mixed media and gold leaf. $230

Ocean Ray
Taylor Russell, 16 years
Acyrlic. $70

Equality is in the Eye of the Beholder - Jessica Ensing, 20 yearsGlass, string, wood. $200
Equality is in the Eye of the Beholder

Jessica Ensing, 20 years

Glass, string, wood. $200

Spirited - Brittany Barker, 18 yearsPencil ink. $400

Brittany Barker, 18 years

Pencil ink. $400

Three Sister
Daniella Burns, 19 years
Acrylic. $750

Long Road Ahead - Alexis Bright, 23 yearsAcrylic. $1000
Long Road Ahead

Alexis Bright, 23 years

Acrylic. $1000

Love by the River - Lilyannah Yu, 17 yearsAcrylic. $120
Love by the River

Lilyannah Yu, 17 years

Acrylic. $120

Flourish With Me - Portia Roper, 16 yearsPhotograph on aluminium. $280
Flourish With Me

Portia Roper, 16 years

Photograph on aluminium. $280

Aromatic Indulgence - Kyla Urbano, 17 yearsWatercolour and acrylic. $175
Aromatic Indulgence

Kyla Urbano, 17 years

Watercolour and acrylic. $175

Ladies' Restroom - Eileen Chen, 17 years Photograph. $450
Ladies' Restroom

Eileen Chen, 17 years

Photograph. $450

Garden Puddle - Myfanwy Morris, 26 yearsPaint pastel. $3600
Garden Puddle

Myfanwy Morris, 26 years

Paint pastel. $3600

Treat Yourself
Madison Carroll, 16 years
Oil. $95

Sunset on the Sea - Bethany Wilson, 20 yearsAcrylic. $650
Sunset on the Sea

Bethany Wilson, 20 years

Acrylic. $650

Blues Brothers - Georgia Rowland, 15 yearsAcrylic. $250
Blues Brothers

Georgia Rowland, 15 years

Acrylic. $250

Last Light, Taranaki - Amy Taunt, 22 yearsPhotograph. $300
Last Light, Taranaki

Amy Taunt, 22 years

Photograph. $300

Bitter Sweet Sari - Mackenzie Walding, 26 yearsMixed media. $1000
Bitter Sweet Sari

Mackenzie Walding, 26 years

Mixed media. $1000


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