Parkin Drawing Prize worth $20,000 awarded to a pile of carpet
It's a stretch to call it a drawing, but Wellington artist Kirsty Lillico's pieces of salvaged carpet draped over string have won her the $20,000 annual Parkin Drawing Prize.
State Block was described as "challenging, brave and impressive" by judge Seraphine Pick in awarding the prize, given by Wellington hotelier and arts patron Chris Parkin.
But is it a drawing? "First of all, I've sort of re-represented a drawing made by someone else," Lillico said.
"Drawing, to me, it's not just about a pencil and paper. I'm using a knife and carpet and hanging it in a space to achieve the same ends."
* Drawing a piece of paper nets $20k prize
* A whole lot of graphite wins $20,000 Parkin Drawing Prize
* Controversial Parkin Drawing Prize winner credits competition with elevating his career
* 'The Catastrophe' wins $20,000 Parkin Drawing Prize
* Prestigious Australian photography prize won by woman who never took a photo
Parkin admitted Lillico's work would not have been his first choice as winner of the prize – but he was impressed by magnitude of the work.
"As I was walking around I thought, gosh, that's a big piece. If that wins, where am I going to hang it?"
While he hasn't made that decision yet, he did feel the piece constituted the requirements for the drawing competition.
It was "still lines, at the end of the day".
"It certainly stretches the drawing concept ... somebody has taken a knife, and started a line and taken it for a walk."
Last week, Australia's prestigious Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture was criticised because the winning piece Maternal Line didn't actually have a portrait of a face, and nor did it use a camera.
Lillico's 3.7m x 4.7m work is based on an architectural floor plan of a one-bedroom state-owned apartment in Auckland.
Pick applauded it for the way it questioned high-density social housing and its "liveability, inequality, affordability", and the failure of privatisation to "solve the current state housing crisis, balanced with her interest in the post-depression era of International Brutalism style of modern architecture and its aesthetics".
According to Lillico, "it's looking at the architectural (drawings) – positive, being black (drawn lines of an architectural design), and the negative being the spaces we occupy".
State Block beat 502 other entries nationwide and 84 finalists at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts on Tuesday evening.
The Parkin prize has been going for five years, and this was Lillico's third year of entering. Her debut win left her quite amazed.
"I had to sit down on the couch," she said.
Lillico has, in the past, been known to salvage old carpets from Lyall Bay dumpsters, but this carpet was new and most likely the end of the roll, from carpet company Sallee.
Pick also awarded 10 highly commended prizes worth $500 each.
The recipients include Karyn Taylor, Arc on 3 States; Harry McAlpine, The Tyranny of Good Intentions; James Thomson-Bache, The Activity; Michael Dell, Valley/Forest; Rohan Wealleans, Skyclad; Kristy Gorman, Lacuna; Clara Wells, Parramatta Automatic; Jae Kang, Stains of Breath; James Robinson, Gnosis and Hugo Koha Lindsey, Forensic Cue 1.