"It shouldn’t be a surprise that this year’s finalists have thrown up some strong contenders in the areas of painting and photography. As diverse as they are to one another, these works articulate an ongoing interest in wall-based image making. Even when the primary motivation is a performative action, a relationship with location or an object, the idea has been resolved on the wall, in the now-neutral format of picture making. In this context, those artists working in three-dimensions also appear to be picture making in sound and space. Many of these artists reveal their sophisticated and long-term engagement with the process of art making. Others have provided genuinely engaging platforms for their personal, conceptual and aesthetic enquiries.
In selecting the finalists I have focused on works that are instilled with the qualities of curiosity. Sometimes provocative sometimes subtle, these are objects and images which invite speculation, not only as to their physical and conceptual natures but also to their intention. In these terms they may be at once familiar and inviting while equally disruptive for our senses. All in all, the best of these works show a visual intelligence and a capacity for translating the multifarious domain of ideas into form." [post from the Waikato Museum website]Fan mail from around the world: That's so wonderful. Congratulations! What an honor! It's a really beautiful painting. I sat mesmerized, looking at the ghostly reflections in the water and the way the movement of the trees as they divide and merge and go from very distinct to impressionistic. Are you using water colors? Really fantastic! Congratulations again! L. Illion, USA Wow, that is so cool! It is such an honour to have gotten that far!!! Well done!! A. Zilberberg, New Zealand