Bob's lament

Updated: Jul 7

Winners of the 28th Annual Wallace Art Awards have been announced. Prizes totalling more than $275,000, were presented by Sir Bob Harvey at the Pah Homestead, TSB Wallace Arts Centre on Monday 2 September.


Robert Jahnke, Lamentation VI, 2019, Wood, paint, one-way glass, mirror, fluorescents, electricity, 2194 x 674mm

Sculptor Robert Jahnke won the Paramount Award for Lamentation VI (2019) which is made of wood, glass, mirror and fluorescent lights.


‘My current body of work utilises light and mirrors to create inflections on Maori cultural concepts associated with genesis narratives, trans-cultural appropriation of imagery, land alienation and environmental pollution,’ says Jahnke.


Of Lamentation VI the Wallace Art Award judges said, ‘The never ending light chamber speaks of eternity and the etched words of a poet across the surface speak urgently of the present. The artist pulls us between the two worlds holding forth a challenge and drawing us into an infinite space.’


Jahnke is a Professor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University’s s Whiti o Rehua School of Art.






A number of other awards were presented including the Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award, which went to Julia Holden for Self Portrait (Mark and Paul Rayner), 2019. The judges described the work as unsettling and curious, ‘it gets under your skin.’ The full list of award winners is available here.

Julia Holden, Self Portrait (Mark and Paul Rayner), 2019, Archival pigment print, 1750 x 1412mm

The Award Winners and Travelling Finalists exhibition will be exhibited at:

• Pah Homestead, TSB Wallace Arts Centre: 3 September – 10 November 2019

• Wallace Gallery Morrinsville: 21 November 2019 – 26 January 2020

• Academy Galleries, Wellington: 15 February – 22 March 2020

• CoCA Christchurch: TBA

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