Indian-origin artist in New Zealand wins top award

Wellington, June 11 (IANS) An Indian-origin artist in New Zealand has won the top award presented by a leading art gallery.

Prakash Patel of Wanganui in New Zealand’s North Island won the Sarjeant Gallery Open Award for his work, titled ‘Astronaut’

It is considered the top award in a series of Sarjeant Gallery Arts Review awards presented by the gallery in Wanganui.

The awards are open to any artist in the Wanganui district in the North Island of this south Pacific island nation and were presented June 7, the Wanganui Chronicle reported Tuesday.

Patel’s acrylic on canvas work is an “eye-catching swirl of blue and black, with details in gold”, according to the report.

“It’s actually part of a series I did for a show in Auckland, but I already had enough paintings for that,” he was quoted as saying.

“So I left it out of the show and entered it for the Arts Review instead.”

With this, Patel, who received NZ$1,000 along with the trophy, has won an Arts Review award for the fourth time.

The artist grew up in Wanganui, studied art at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier and returned to Wanganui in 1993 after he had finished his studies.

The gallery is named after Henry Sarjeant (1830-1912), who had immigrated to New Zealand from England around 1860 and settled in the Wanganui region.

According to the gallery’s website, after Sarjeant’s death, his wife Ellen consolidated her husband’s interest in the arts, which had been generously provided for in his will.

“Henry Sarjeant’s ability to grasp opportunity in a new land engendered a prosperity that enabled him to facilitate his vision for a culturally invigorating art museum and collection; an institution of national significance throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and one commemorating his name both in New Zealand and beyond,” the website posting stated.

The other awards presented were Rivercity Gas Ltd Student Award, Central City Pharmacy Highly Commended Award, Members of the Sarjeant Gallery Highly Commended Award, The Flying Fox Merit Award, Rivercity Picture Framers Ltd Merit Award, Mainstreet Art & Framing Merit Award, Ceramic Lounge Merit Award, Recaffeinate Merit Award and the Wood Merit Award.

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