Monday 13 March 2023
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is delighted to announce the nominees for the upcoming Walters Prize 2024.
Established in 2002, the Walters Prize was conceived as a platform to showcase excellence in the visual arts. This year, the Gallery has adopted a new triennial format for the Walters Prize to emphasise the development of new works for the exhibition. The 11th Walters Prize exhibition is scheduled to be presented in winter 2024 and will be awarded in late 2024.
Four shortlisted artists have been selected by an independent jury (see below) to represent the most outstanding contribution to contemporary New Zealand art in the preceding two-year period.
The nominated artists are:
- Juliet Carpenter (born 1990, Waipukurau) lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany. Carpenter was nominated for recent work exhibited internationally, including her film installation EGOLANE, 2022, exhibited at Städelschule Rundgang.
- Owen Connors (born 1992, Greymouth) lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Connors was nominated for recent exhibitions including your cart and plow over the bones of the dead (2022) and Incubations (2021), both at Robert Heald Gallery.
- Brett Graham (born 1967, Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Tainui) lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Graham was nominated for the exhibition Tai Moana Tai Tangata, first exhibited at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2020–2021) and subsequently with new configurations at City Gallery Wellington (2021) and Christchurch Art Gallery (2022).
- Ana Iti (born 1989, Blenheim, Te Rarawa) lives and works in Hawkes Bay. Iti was nominated for recent video and sculptural installations including The woman whose back was a whetstone, exhibited in Swallowing Geography at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (2021), Roharoha exhibited at Gus Fisher Gallery (2022), and I must shroud myself in stinging nettle exhibited at City Gallery Wellington (2022).
Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Lacy says ‘the Walters Prize has proudly established itself as a prominent accolade internationally and an important milestone for contemporary artists in Aotearoa. It is a longstanding award and one of the Gallery’s flagship exhibitions.’
‘The new triennial format gives us an opportunity to amplify the Walters Prize in our exhibition programme by giving it more prominence in our main galleries, as well as supporting the creation of new works.’
Auckland Art Gallery’s Senior Curator, Global Contemporary Art, Natasha Conland, says ‘the refreshed format for the Walters Prize recognises an artist’s overall recent contribution to contemporary art, rather than one single work and positions the prize exhibition in the heart of the Gallery’s activity. We’re excited to work with a fantastic new group of nominees who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their practice from a range of points in their careers and interests.’
Conland will partner with Ane Tonga, the Gallery’s Curator, Pacific Art to curate the 2024 Walters Prize exhibition.
The Walters Prize founding benefactors and principal donors are Erika and Robin Congreve, Dame Jenny Gibbs. Major donors are Dayle, Lady Mace, and Chris and Charlotte Swasbrook.
The 2024 Walters Prize jury members are:
- Robert Leonard, director, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
- Tendai Mutambu, independent curator and writer, Auckland
- Melanie Oliver, curator of contemporary art, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
- Hanahiva Rose, assistant curator at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and PhD candidate, Wellington
The Walters Prize 2024 jury statement:
‘We selected the four finalists for the 11th Walters Prize for projects they presented in 2020–22, a time of
unsettled exhibition opportunities, disrupted by Covid lockdowns and restrictions on travel. Despite this,
the artists presented extraordinary works that address the cultural, social, and political conditions of our
time, and ask us to pay careful attention to the way histories are made, told, and maintained. Our selection
looks to both senior and early-career artists to find new commentaries on issues of art and culture today.
Their diverse projects were the culmination of formal, material and conceptual experimentation, with each
artist making an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in Aotearoa.’
Recently graduated from Frankfurt’s Städelschule, Juliet Carpenter has developed a striking movingimage
practice. Her innovative film installation EGOLANE, 2022 is intimate and disorienting. The work
follows a woman travelling alone in a driverless car, charting her journey through despair, ecstasy,
contemplation, and boredom, and reflecting on the contingency of death, desire and the limits of control.
In focusing on physiological states, it challenges the conventions of narrative filmmaking.