Rotorua’s Mark Noble achieves a first for the Rotorua Museum Art Awards

Mark Noble with his piece entitled Why-Tangi. Photo / Provided

Artistry was showcased and celebrated at the Rotorua Museum Arts Awards 2019, with a premiere for these awards.

Rotorua’s Mark Noble has won both the online and gallery vote for the More FM People’s Choice Award, and it’s the first time in Art Awards history that the same artist has won both.

At the Rotorua Museum Art Awards exhibition, which ran from October 23 to November 10, 1050 gallery votes were cast as the public viewed the exhibits.

Mark, with his piece titled Why-Tangiwas the clear winner with 111 votes.

He also had the most votes online, with 218 votes. There were 871 people who voted online from around the world.

Mark received $1,000 for online and gallery votes.

He also received the Emerging Artist Award from the Friends of the Museum of Rotorua as part of the Rotorua Museum Art Awards.

He says the Emerging Artist Award was announced at the opening of the awards exhibition.

“I felt very humbled and privileged to win this award. It was a great achievement for me and it gave me a lot of hope for the future and my artistic career.”

The People’s Choice Award was announced at a later date, and Mark says when he got the call he was surprised as he had been under the impression that the award would go to two people.

He says he felt happy when he found out, although it would also have been great to be able to split the prize.

It took Mark about 70-80 hours to work on his Why-Tangi room.

He says it was created using pencil and clay, and he tries to use eco-friendly and eco-friendly products whenever possible. This is why he chose to use clay, as well as for his depiction of Papatūānuku.

In the description, Mark says that this work has aspects of the creation story.

“The imagery of the sky, fog, sunlight and the face of the male model seeks to portray Ranginui while Papatūānuku is depicted through the imagery of hills and the use of natural earth clay – the material used to form all images that are yellow.

“The work demonstrates the innate connection of all humans to the land itself. Particularly for the Maori, whose spirituality is expressed through their connection to the land, here depicted in the flowing, faded combination of the moko ora of the template with landscape and sky.

“The rural farm fence and barren hills bear witness to a land that has changed due to the policies and actions of colonization to the present day. This change is seen by many as a disregard for this innate bond.

“The portrait is positioned on the right, representing a psycho-social understanding of moving forward and staying strong.”

Iwi Le Comte won this year’s Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Prize of $10,000 with his work Te Ipukarea, ahead of 187 other entries.

Rotorua Museum Art Awards judge Leafa Wilson noted that it was the smallest work in the entire exhibition, but had the most overwhelming and warm presence.

“I was immediately drawn to this work made of Ōnewa stone and pearl inlay.

“Lovingly crafted with contemporary tools, the aspirations, mana and mauri of Le Comte’s tipuna have breathed life into this taonga. The scale of a work does not automatically mean the mana it exudes”, explains Leafa.

His comments on Mark’s work included: “Mark Noble’s work is an impeccably written work. It seeks to reinvent Ranginui and Papatuanuku. I awarded this work the Emerging Artist Award because of its sheer beauty for someone that emerges in his artistic practice.”

Mark thanked the Rotorua Museum and all the sponsors who helped with the awards, as well as all the artists from across the Bay of Plenty who took part.

“I think it’s cool that everyone is creating and coming together.”

Rotorua Museum Art Awards 2019
– Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Award: Iwi Le Comte with her work Te Ipukarea ahead of 187 other entries
– Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award: Heather Kremen for her work Protected in the night
– Lockwood Youth Award: Bree Straker for his work – Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist: Mark Noble for his work Why-Tangi.
– Certificates of merit: Jeanette Pleijte and Lynette Fisher for their respective works Christchurch 15-03-19 and Me Too (2018).

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