An Opotiki based artist took out the People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards.
Mark Antis won the $500 award for his finely-rendered oil painting, titled Fencing Assistant.
Mark’s artist statement represents his piece well, which links a portrait of a young girl wearing red band gumboots to “the nineteenth century French realist movement, which celebrated the daily lives of ordinary people.”
Brendon Law, of Law Creative who sponsored the people’s choice award says he is delighted to hear Mark won the award.
“I’ve long admired his work, and in this case, it speaks to the taste of many people.”
Mark says he is pleased with his work as it represents his childhood experience.
”In my work I attempt to draw on the rich historical tradition of representational painting, evolved to reflect the culture we find today. Through my portrait, figure and plein air landscape paintings I hope to explore the balance between the timeless appeal of the depiction of a human being, or natural scene, and the contemporary aspects that identify the subject as belonging to a particular time and place.
“I enjoy the additional challenge in portrait and figure painting of attempting to capture the subtleties within a sitter’s physicality that portrays their individuality and personality; whereas my passion for landscape work has been shaped by my rural childhood, growing up on a farm in the hills and bush of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, and the increasing recognition in New Zealand of the value of conservation work.”
The Molly Morpeth Canaday Award exhibition is presented by Arts Whakatane and the Whakatane District Council and the artworks can be viewed at Te Koputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre until Sunday, April 5.