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Kapiti artist captures winner on canvas

Mar 16th, 2010 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

kimbra MAIN

KIMBRA Taylor with the portrait of Harriet Bright which she did not enter for judging.

ARTIST Kimbra Taylor did not win the Adam Portraiture Award, but she captured the next best thing because her painting is of the winning artist.

Fellow Kapiti artist Harriet Bright, who won the 2010 national award and the $15,000 prize last month, was the subject of Ms Taylor’s entry.

It was seeing Ms Bright framed in the doorway of her house one day which inspired the painting.

“She has an extraordinary face,” says Ms Taylor of her friend.

Asked why she painted Ms Bright in a beanie hugging a hot water bottle, the reason was a practical one – Ms Bright was busy renovating her house in the middle of winter and it was the only way she could stay warm.

“It was so freezing cold [in the house], that she said ‘you can draw me but I’ve got to hold this hot water bottle’.”

Ms Taylor discarded her first painting and entered her second effort, which she says was technically better but felt it was lacking the intensity of the first painting.

“I didn’t see my picture as a winner because it’s not the way I really want to paint a portrait, it’s a step along the way to somewhere I’m heading.

“I’m very lucky it got accepted and very grateful – but I didn’t see it as one of my best works.”

Winning is seen as a validation of an artist’s work, and Ms Taylor knows how that feels when “a little nude” she’d done won the Gordon Harris Best Painting award, at the Splash National Water Colour Exhibition last year.

She says a judge’s decision is a subjective one, and she herself will be in that position when she judges the children’s art competition, part of the Coastlands Kiwiana exhibition currently hanging in the shopping centre.

She knows how difficult it will be.

Ms Taylor says she will be looking for “that instantaneous attraction to a painting which stops you and takes your breath away”, and then as a judge she’ll analyse why.

Asked for her view on the controversy over the portrait of convicted murderer Clayton Weatherston, submitted for the Adam Portraiture Award, Ms Taylor did not know where she sat on the issue.

“There’s part of me that goes ‘that poor family’, there’s part of me that goes ‘well this is art’ and artists do controversial things.”

Kimbra Taylor is one of 93 finalists chosen from 311 entries nationwide showing at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Queen’s Wharf until April 11 2010.

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