The judges "felt that there was a lovely subtlety in the work, and that we loved the feeling of disappearing into the blizzard which the depth of the work gave.We also liked the contemporary interpretation of the quote, and the choice of fabric."
I am deeply moved by this Award. I got a bit hysterical when I first found out, laughing uncontrollably as I conquered my surprise to let the news sink in. Then I started to cry a little. And then, because I had a busy day planned I had to just get on with what I had to do. But every time I remember this exciting news I roll through another emotional response. Here are three reasons why it is affecting me so deeply.
I've been a selected finalist in national art awards four times in the past four years but this is my first win. It feels like an overwhelming acknowledgement of the persistent hard work I put into my art practice, and my commitment to pursuing new directions. I'm very glad Blizzard is getting this recognition because it is a little different from the work I'm best known for, so I feel the Award is encouraging me to keep experimenting technically as I dig deeper conceptually.
Last but not least, is the timing of this award for Blizzard. A century ago this month Captain Laurence 'Titus' Oates died in an Antarctic blizzard. His final words 'I'm just going outside and may be some time' is one of the most famous Antarctic quotes and I made it into Blizzard. It sends shivers down my spine to have my own honour coincide with this anniversary. There are many celebrations and memorials taking place for Scott's Polar Party this year, and I feel that this Award gives me another connection with Oates and his companions.
The Awards show is called Changing Threads and is on at The Refinery Artspace in Nelson, New Zealand until 21 April. Unfortunately I won't get a chance to go down and see it, but if you do, please write and tell me all about it.