Walters Prize: Kōrero with the jury


event Details

The Walters Prize is Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant contemporary art award. Established in 2002, this year will be the tenth iteration of the Walters Prize, which was conceived as a platform to foreground excellence in the visual arts. 

The jury for this year’s prize met in February 2020 to select the four nominated artworks. Lockdowns meant we were unable to show the works last year, so we are thrilled to be doing so now. 

Come and hear the jury discussing four artworks, selected for their outstanding contributions to contemporary art in New Zealand in the preceding two-year period.

The Walters Prize 2020 Jury Statement

‘Given the strength of art and exhibition practices at present, selecting four finalists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in this two-year period proved challenging. The work of this year’s finalists addresses how histories are experienced, recounted and kept alive in the present, intergenerational and ethical relationships, and the circulation of information through various media. The particularities of each project are distinct, each advancing contemporary practice materially, conceptually and spatially.’

Read the jury statement in full here.

Artists and artworks:

Mata Aho (Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti and Terri Te Tau), nominated for AKA, 2019
Fiona Amundsen, nominated for A Body That Lives, 2018
Sonya Lacey, nominated for Weekend, 2018
Sriwhana Spong, nominated for Now Spectral, Now Animal, 2019/2020


Allan Smith, freelance curator/writer and senior lecturer, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
Nathan Pohio, (Ngāti Māmoe, Ngāi Tahu), artist, assistant curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Melanie Oliver, former senior curator at The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, now curator, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Charlotte Huddleston, former director, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology


Image credits:

Mata Aho, AKA, 2019
Fiona Amundsen, A Body That Lives, 2018
Sonya Lacey, Weekend, 2018
Sriwhana Spong, Now Spectral, Now Animal, 2019/2020