All the artworks nominated for the 2020 Walters Prize are by female artists.
The four artworks shortlisted for the $50,000 prize are; AKA by all-women, Māori art collective Mata Aho, Now Spectral, Now Animal (AZ #83) by Sriwhana Spong, Weekend by Sonya Lacey, and A Body That Lives by Fiona Amundsen.
The biennial Walters Prize has been running for 20 years. Artworks are selected for their ‘outstanding contributions to contemporary art in New Zealand’ in the preceding two-year period. The 2020 jury, made up of Allan Smith, Nathan Pohio, Melanie Oliver and Charlotte Huddleston, said each of the chosen works advance contemporary practice materially, conceptually and spatially.
Kirsten Paisley, Director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, says it is more important than ever to support contemporary artists ‘and provide platforms for the voice of artists to be heard in these uncertain times.’ A finalist exhibition will open later this year at Auckland Art Gallery, Covid-19 alert level allowing. The artists can choose to present the nominated work, or create new work for the public exhibition.
Mata Aho, AKA, 2019, marine rope and steel, National Gallery of Canada, 2019
Sriwhana Spong, Now Spectral, Now Animal, 2019/2020, (installation view), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2020.
Sonya Lacey, Weekend, 2018, (installation view), The Dowse Art Museum, 2018. Photo: Russell Kleyn.
Fiona Amundsen, It Was a Cave Like This, 2017-18, One-channel HD video, 26min 54sec, in A Body that Lives, ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT, 28 September – 26 October 2018. Photo: Sam Hartnett.