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The Miles Art Awards 2020
The Bay of Plenty Times People's Choice Award


Below you can scroll through all 40 finalists.
Enjoy and participate in our virtual exhibition!

Sponsored by The Bay of Plenty Times.

Angela Mckenzie
Fever Dream, 2020
Mixed media

“Attention spans are lessening, it’s a lesson in humans using machines to show their feelings. I used to make mountains; but they grew bigger than me. Thought I’d climb my way up high, but what if I tumble? I wait for a vision, I see colour raining down - feral feeling, swaying sound. I open and it makes me restless to feel it out and watch the colour burst - don’t wake me, I’m Fever Dreaming.” 

Artist Angela McKenzie’s work “Fever Dreaming” inspired some of the amazing works our little visitors made with our Education team before the lockdown. 

Brylee Courtney
Black Arena, 2019
Acrylic on canvas

Taking the Ethel MacMillan Award, Black Arena reflects the artists interest in organic form, distortion of geometric shapes and repetition of motifs. Courtney’s style is heavily influenced by abstract art from the Minimalist period, focussing on creating tonal range and depth through the use of  black and white mediums such as acrylic, oil paint, charcoal and ink. Whilst the work itself makes no cultural or religious references, stylistically recalls Ralph Hotere’s ‘Black paintings.’ 



Kevin McCardell
Plight of the Bumblebee, 2020
Kauri timber

Carved out of timber, this lifelike sculpture draws attention to the welfare of our planets’ species - holding humanity accountable for our role in their disappearing numbers. In particular, bees are a core part of our ecosystem and gravely at risk. Einstein theorised that if bees were to go extinct, humanity would only have four days to live. McCardell’s refined carved piece won the Mayor’s Award, challenging humanity to take action now, before we are only left with “an empty bag of tricks.”


Darcell Apelu
The Anchor Inn, 2019

The Anchor Inn is the pub my maternal family managed as part of Lion breweries, situated on the corner of Maunganui Road and Rata Street. In its time it was considered a dive bar, the place that seamen making port in Tauranga would come to. The work refers to the memory of spending Sunday mornings exploring the pub while my mother organized the accounts. The sun would hit the burgundy carpet and the air smelt sweet. A space that was warm, vibrant with the sound of coins, stuck in its own time. The Anchor Inn building was set for demolition in January 2020.


Anna Fox
Discovering Identity, 2020
Oil on canvas

“Identity cannot be found or fabricated but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.”
 - Doug Cooper

A face is emerging from layers of paint. Brush strokes define the characteristics of this face, giving it a sense of unique identity. And like our own selves, this painting seems somewhat unfinished; a work in progress. A constant reminder of our own selves being a work in progress.


Tania Lewis-Rickard
The Small Things That Count, 2020
Mixed media object assemblage

The small things that count bring everyday items into the art gallery context, transforming them into an artwork. The work is about social engagement. Viewing the piece in its entirety creates an immediate interaction between the viewer and considers the homeless community - acknowledging they are not invisible. Glamourising the very basic necessities of everyday life that many may take for granted, highlights the juxtaposition of perception - to the chronic homeless living on the streets, the mother and children living in a car and those of no fixed abode, these items are like gold.

David Marven
Temptation, 2019
Acrylic on canvas

The mouth is a conduit for eating, drinking and communicating.  Our ability to control what goes in and out is often limited. Marven’s figurative painting explores the notion of willpower (or lack thereof), depicting the embodiment of temptation rushing into the mouth before the main figure has time to exercise restraint. 

Joos Van Craesbeeck was a Flemish baker and painter, known for his contribution to the development of Flemish genre painting in the mid-17th century. His oil on canvas The Temptation of St Anthony (circa 1650) in particular is reminiscent of similar concepts and imagery, though it is highly influenced by Catholic symbolism. Art provides continuity of dialogue over centuries!


Noah Bunkley 
Remnants, 2020
Ink on paper

"Our notion of self is built on our collection of memories gathered throughout our lives; each experience adding to our own personal story. Through twenty-eight documented memories collected from local rest-home residents throughout Tauranga, this work is an exploration of memory, time and self. During the course of the exhibition, the pages fall from the wall into a pile of discarded paper on the floor. Like the pages, our memories fade with time until we too, piece-by-piece, disappear."

Remnants is a simple yet strong representation of the fragility of the mind, and the powerful role memory plays in our defining of self. 


Lance Pearce
His Own Heart’s Curtain, 2019 
Acrylic on canvas

His Own Heart’s Curtain is an enlarged coloured version of the comic book hero ‘The Phantom’. In New Zealand art since the 1960s, Pop art inspired appropriations like Phantom! (2015) by Paul Hartigan and ‘The Phantom’ series by Dick Frizzell have nostalgically emulated the techniques of comic book illustrators and print reproduction. Acknowledging these local precursors, His Own Heart’s Curtain explores a space between subjective expression and mechanised production, through Pearce’s use of “painterly” brushworks. 


Helen MacDuff
Waitawheta, 2020
Mixed media, oil painting

Waitawheta addresses issues around the misuse of public land - in particular, the Karangahake Gorge between Waihi and Paeroa, a well-visited tourist attraction also known as “the Windows Walk”. The area is rich in history and gold - the Ohinemuri and Waitawheta rivers suffering heavily due to the extensive mining that began in 1875. The rivers were used as ‘sludgeways’, with cyanide and arsenic regularly washed down through these waters. Whilst the environment has healed over time, the threat of mining is ever present. 

MacDuff pays homage to Mere Kuru Te Kati (painted by Lindauer) through the inclusion of her moko kauae at the base of the painting; a woman who relentlessly opposed the onslaught of colonisation and gold mining. The Kawakawa plant is renowned for its medicinal purposes - a simplistic challenge to our leaders to protect this national treasure and allow our lands to heal. 

View Video: Interview with Helen MacDuff

Alicia Beech
The Art of Allowing, 2019
Acrylic on canvas

In a time where thoughts over analysed, lives compared and a preoccupation with seeking validation lurks in the shadows, this piece was created from a place of freedom and endless possibilities. As colour and shape collide and intertwine, they don’t ask each other permission, seek forgiveness or judge one another; they exist with enthusiasm, acknowledging the part they play and accepting their presence in this dance which is ‘The Art of Allowing’.
What a colourful journey the artist has invited us on as we explore this visually vivacious work!


Emma Prill 
It’s a Fine Line, 2020
Acrylic, gouache and pastel on Belgian linen

A poignant piece to share at this time, It’s a Fine Line by Emma Prill reflects the delicate fragility between balance and imbalance that we, and the planet are facing. During the creation of this work, Whakaari (White Island) exploded and the fires continued to burn in Australia, creating irreversible devastation to land, animals, property and people. 

The shape is suggestive of landscapes, bodies of water, mountain ranges, maps and caves; pushing the traditional representation of landscape painting through the use of materials and presentation. Artist Emma Prill is known for her explorations of the tactility of canvas when it is not bound to a support and this work combines both an exploration of material and a conceptual narrative through the process.

Jill Andrews
Mateoha Tamariki, 2019

Mateoha Tamariki by Jill Andrews explores ideas around childhood and the natural inquisition and freedom that tamariki have in approaching life. Implementing the notion of the following whakatauki, Andrews encourages the audience to remember the nature of a child to explore boundaries and nurture their discovery of rules and tikanga practice. 

Ta te tamariki tana mahi wawahi taha - It is the job of the children to smash the calabash. 

Lindsay Butler
Deep Sea Coral, 2019
Fused Glass

Inspired by nature’s beautiful, unusual creatures and what they can construct,  Deep Sea Coral depicts the complexities of the fragile reef coral. Hard corals extract calcium from the surrounding sea water and create a hardened structure for protection and growth. The symbiosis between plant and animal contributes to the brilliant colours of coral.
By understanding the glass’s physical properties, surface tension and gravity, Butler presents a delicate, organic sculpture of sea life.

Talitha Rosanne Brauchli
Miromiro, 2020
Watercolour on paper

"Miromiro, or North Island tomtits are one of my favourite birds to see on bush walks. They are like fluffy balls of cotton wool wearing miniature tuxedos. I imagine that these three particular birds are brothers, just recently come into their adult plumage, who are together, perhaps for the last time, before they make their own flights of adventure into the world.”
Brauchli has used watercolour over the past 20 years to paint bird life, due to its excellent qualities at capturing detail. Aren’t we such a fortunate country to have such beautiful manu - what’s your favourite native bird to see when you’re out and about?

Zig Beatnik
Anarchist, 2018

‘The Artist’s life’ as many might call it, is stereotypically recognised as one of hardship in pursuit of artistic practice. Balancing multiple jobs to “pay the bills” so one can explore their creative passions. Artist Zig Beatnik is no foreigner to this - working two jobs - with an interesting juxtaposition highlighted in this work.
As an artist, Beatnik sees himself as an Anarchist, a rule breaker in order to create art. As security guard however, he is a figure of authority and “rule enforcement.”
This work reflects the dual conflict that these jobs have on his life, winning him the The Friends of the Tauranga Art Gallery Award.


Tania Akehurst
Who Say’s So, 2019
Indian ink wash on watercolour paper

Four separate images combined to form one image - styled to inspire the imagination. Sometimes less is more, and art has the ability to say more through it’s depictions than it can through words describing it. It’s amazing that two people can stand side by side, viewing the same piece, and see, feel and take away completely different messsages from the work. What is sparked in your imagination when you look at this work? 

Mark Anstis
Grace, 2019
Oil on Linen

“I have always been drawn to portraiture for the timelessness and humanity that can be expressed through the depiction of a face.

This is a painting of Grace. Her name exemplifies the way in which she conducts herself in life, with maturity and empathy beyond her years. I hope that this portrait manages to reflect that quality.”


Nicola Dench
Broken, 2018
Porcelain (2 pieces)

This piece was created during the making of a series of work exploring family, social media and youth suicide. While slip casting one of the pieces fell out of the mold, almost tossed into recycling out of frustration. Before acting too hastily, Dench recognised the serendipitous moment of process and narrative coming together as one, presenting Broken in it’s form and title. Such a wonderful reminder of the ability art has to be reshaped and remoulded - a continual process of adapting and critical thinking. 


Lois Parish Evans
Is it in the DNA?, 2020

Interested in the idea of connections on multiple levels, Is it in the DNA? explores our ability to connect, and our connection/attachment to offspring - contributing to the survival of a species. This work explores the idea that our need to connect and attach to each other and our children is innate, it is in our DNA. It begins with the parent/child attachment, from which the adult attachments we form stems from. Without this connection to individuals and/or communities, our survival would be compromised. Here, Evans draws attention to the complexities of connectedness through her choice of content, concept and material.


Debbie Galloway
Critical Thinking, 2019
Wood, glass gilded, 12ct white gold 

Do not be deceived by the minimalism of this small, sculptural piece. Every element holds symbolism relating to the notion of critical thinking - “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue/idea in order to form a judgment.” A brick making mold creates the frame, symbolising the formative role bricks play in the manifestation of an idea. They create structures we see daily, but they can be taken down and rearranged - creating a new perspective, much like that of an idea. Lining the interior is what seems like a mirror, but is actually glass, gilded with 12ct white gold leaf (which becomes mirror like when dry), a clever symbolism of thinking harder and looking deeper. The numerals create the alphabetical equivalent to the title, ultimately highlighting the importance of critical thinking in an age of information overload. 

Anna Hayes
Unders + Overs, 2019
Pīngao & Muka

“An art form that every culture has developed for necessity, is showcased in this vessel. Made purely from NZ native plant leaf and fibre, this piece signifies the many strengths and qualities in us all.”  Such an intricately woven piece, it’s size is deceivingly small. The whakatauki ‘ahakoa he iti, he pounamu’ is appopriate in relation to this small yet strong vessel - though it is small, it is a treasure.


Richard Macdonald
Love Bug, 2019
Oils on recycled Buzzy Bee

The iconic Buzzy Bee of Aotearoa New Zealand is transformed into an envoy of peace, tolerance and reconciliation. With a 60s flower power aesthetic, the work is a metaphor for our collective response to xenophobia and violent intolerance, this is ‘Us’. Flashing gunfire becoming blooming flowers, peace emblazoned, olive branch offered. A tapestry of paint on the new dove of peace coming to us in the innocent guise of a child’s toy.

A completely different medium, but an interesting play on symbolism and contrast in content to message.


John Roy
Rook, 2019

John Roy creates pieces inspired by his environment - whether it be an external source or something seen, heard or felt. He is particularly drawn to the human figure, as it provides a point of reference for the viewer, creating a more personal interpretation of the artists work. Historically, the human figure has been a subject explored across all cultural art practices - and in the developments of art itself. From the earliest cave drawings, ancient temple depictions, Greek sculpture, renaissance portraiture, all the way through expressionism, abstraction, surrealism and in to contemporary art today. Through the ages, the human figure is something we as humanity are fascinated by. 

Cat Thompson
Through My Fathers Eyes, 2020
Ceramic, vintage decal

For artist Cat Thompson, eyes are considered the most symbolic sensory organ, representing knowledge - commonly associated with light, morals and truth. As quoted by the great William Shakespeare, "eyes are the windows to your soul." Inspired by the past, Thompson considers the sadness of growing older and reflecting on mortality, responding to her own life trials, teenage emotions, thoughts and opinions. Through My Fathers Eyes reflects the quietness and hidden qualities shared as the figures take in the others view.


Paora Tiatoa
Tikkeee Tanic & Heru’s Fishing Charters, 2020
Abstract, multi-pass hand screenprint 

Formerly an abstract shape formation painter, Tiatoa transitioned to contemporary Māori art, later combining the two art forms to create what he calls ‘abstract contemporary Māori art.’
The process of his work is as important as the content - here, an array of tāonga residing in the British Museum. Scattered across ten screens, the tāonga are abstracted to make a stencil for individual passes of ink to create the final image. Tiatoa expresses the importance of his work in giving the tāonga life, giving them personalities and characters with a sense of movement.

Adrienne Ranson
Cloud, Rock, Mountain No.2, 2019
Acrylic on canvas

Cloud, Rock, Mountain No.2 represents an imagined landscape, a personal response by the artist to his research into shān shuǐ painting practices and principles. In the painting of traditional Chinese shān shuǐ, correlations are drawn between landscapes from both the earth and heaven plains. Landscapes of mountains/rocks or yún gēn (the roots of clouds) can also be referred to as cloud-landscapes or cloud-water pictures. These meaning-formations not only consider the relationship clouds and water have to the structural agent of mountains and rocks, but also the spiritual element within; that is, that any representation of nature, as always an imagined landscape, is one that carries forth the spirit of the artist in the process of self-expression and the visual embodiment of the spirit of those forms the artist seeks to convey.


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Doreen McNeill
The Edge of Summer, 2020
Acrylic on canvas

"For me the process of painting is more important than the result and it is the pleasure of making marks in colour, shape and line that unleashes my creativity. I love the tactile quality of acrylic paint, the clarity of the colours and the versatility which allows endless experimentation. I let the subject or theme of the painting evolve with the excitement of manipulating the paint and this work I felt described the hesitancy we often feel as the seasons change - hence the title - The Edge of Summer" January 2020


Heather Perring
King of the Mountain, 2020
Oil on boxed canvas

“As the storm clouds raced over Pirongia, one Ponga towered above the rest, standing strong in the forces of nature - King of the Mountain.” A painting of contrasts, King of the Mountain depicts the fine and stormy, light and dark, large and small, the still and moving. In this oil on canvas, Perring highlights the majesty, strength and beauty of nature.


Helena Jones
Floral Bouquet, 2019
Oil paint 

Following a still-life composition featuring this bouquet at a much smaller scale amongst other objects, Jones desired to explore the flowers to their full extent in this oil painting. Painted on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the contrast of the bright flowers against a backdrop of a moody sky, creates depth, colour and light. The entire bouquet appears alive and in action, not trapped and fixed in one position. 
Still life has an interesting history, and one of our renowned artists has been recognised for her exploration of the style in a different medium. 


Israel Randell
Wahi Ngaro, 2019
Electroluminescent wire

‘. . . Te Korekore (the void) is the realm between non-being and being: that is, the realm of potential being… here the seed-stuff of the universe and all created things gestate. It is the womb from which all things proceed. . .’ -Maori Marsden
Wahi Ngaro, the ‘hidden realm’, examines this notion of the void, an in-between space - or the places from which all things originate from. The triangle, a primordial shape, refers to the wharetangata (womb), symbolic of the space from which we come from and return to. Both physically and subliminally, this installation delves into our understanding of, and interaction with Te Korekore.


Janet Carter
Matai Aumoana, 2019
Flashe acrylic, Xyrallica Pearl on MDF board UV Protect clear coat

Mātai Aumoana reveals the ferocity of the Pacific Ocean with the curvilinear and longitudinal kowhaiwhai patterns on these contemporary paddles. I have represented the turbulence, disturbance, movement, motion and the majestic depth of the Pacific Ocean through the use of colour and kowhaiwhai repeat patterns. Each design on the above paddles, illustrates the round curved waves and the disturbance, movement and motion of the Pacific Ocean. The paddles represent the navigational voyage across
the Pacific Ocean by brave Maori warriors and our ancestral souls in search of new land.

Jimi Colzato
Adam & Eve, Diptych, 2020
Mix media on watercolour paper

Zen Buddhism aims for mindfulness in each moment. Looking at the interplay of Suprematism, Colour Field theory and Zen philosophy this work explores Colzato’s natural cadence and rhythm expressed during various states of mindfulness.  The creation of this work demands full commitment to the act as the paper does not allow for “mistakes.” Each brush stroke is carefully thought through and rehearsed before application and each unsatisfactory work is discarded. The subject/idea is reduced to its most elemental, its essence.

Jo Tricker
What’s Your Pronoun?, 2019
Cast glass

Jo works in the medium of kiln-formed and lamp-worked glass with an emphasis on colour and pattern. Her inspiration comes from her family, books, history, dance, travelling and language. What’s Your Pronoun? is about self expression and identity - intended as an interactive installation, giving the viewer the ability to ‘spell’ and express their uniqueness. 

Kristina Joyce
Untitled, 2019
Oil on canvas

“My practice is based on using abstract language and ongoing process of making, editing and repetition where the act of painting is a subject. In my most recent work I have been exploring the ever-changing form of the human body.”


Mandy Hague
White Dimension, 2020
Mixed media in glass dome

White dimensions looks at our global population’s increasingly disconnected relationship with the natural world. The bell jar contains an imagined landscape where specimens from unconnected ecosystems sit alongside each other, with carefully pinned paper beetles that reference our urge to label, categorise and control. Seemingly united by a treatment of whitewashing, a removal of texture and detail leave behind a plasticised tableau of sterile containment. As we consider the strange ecology beneath the glass dome, another element comes into play – the reflection of ourselves, the viewer, reminding us of the role we must inevitably play.

Marama Mateparae
The Shed, 2018

Marama’s recent photographic images focus on staged narrative portraiture, examining ideas of social/cultural conventions and the concealed or hidden. Marama completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries, at Toi Ohomai, in 2018 and a Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours), at Wintec, in 2019. She lives in Papamoa with her two children. 

Stella Clark
Mapping the Process, 2020
Mixed media

Mapping the Process is an abstract exploration of Clark’s painting process using multiple mediums to interact with one another. Printmakers squeegees show movement through the textures and print traces - a direct record of energy. Clark refers to the shapes and textures as a ‘new landscape’ –created by many paths working within a black and white constraint. The addition of pencil grid line brings contrast and further reference to the notion of ‘mapping’, whilst colour defines specific bordered areas to represent the pauses between painting activity. The colours used are derived from inverted google map colours.


Sue MacDougall
Three Mountains High, 2018
Encaustic on Board

Three Mountains High reflects the artists observations of her natural surroundings, particularly the sea, sand and foreshore. Exploring these elements and a reproducing the feelings experienced, the artist is able to express the great pleasure nature brings, with the intent of sharing that with the viewer through her use of colour, texture and creative process. 

Tallulah Nunez
Fake Plastic World, 2019
Plastic, textiles, acrylic paint, varnish, ink, gel medium, drawing pins, tacks, paper collage, wood, plastic drink bottle on stretched canvas

With deep concerns around climate change, Nunez has recently diversified her painting practice to create multimedia assemblages to create dialogue around this issue. Fake Plastic World incorporates found textiles and plastic as a statement on recycling and the tremendous amount of waste created in the West due to excessive consumerism and dumping of quickly outdated purchases. Nunez believes art is a space that has the power to address these issues, whether it’s by showing the beauty or the horror of our impact on the world. 


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