Exploration of visual language wins award
Master of Fine Arts student Andre Sampson has won this year’s Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Scholarship for
watercolour painting with a series of work that explores visual language.
The award, worth $10,000, is given annually to an Elam School of Fine Arts student at The University of Auckland who
excels in the exploration of contemporary themes in watercolour. Lola Anne Tunbridge, who died in 1999, was an avid
watercolourist who wished to support aspiring artists in this medium.
Sampson’s award-winning work examines the language of visual communication, referencing art history, illustration,
printmaking and advertising. Her watercolours are currently on display at Elam gallery projectspace B431 beside 17 other
New Lynn-based, single mother of two, Sampson says she used watercolour to explore and extend her ideas about visual
language in an increasingly image-saturated culture. She plans to use the prize money to pay fees and buy more
materials. Now in her final-year at Elam, Sampson hopes to continue exhibiting and in the future obtain a teaching
Elam alumnus and painter Nicola Farquar joined fellow painter Simon Ingram, a staff member at Elam, to adjudicate the
show. To assist with selecting the winner, all submissions included an artist statement that provided an important
context in which to view the works.
“It is a privilege for Elam students to have the opportunity to compete for this significant scholarship. The generosity
of Lola Tunbridge in her vision to support advancement in watercolour is an opportunity for our students to explore this
challenging and highly rewarding medium. We are grateful for the chance to turn the spotlight on emerging artists who
continuously push the boundries in contemporary watercolour painting,” says Head of School, Professor Derrick Cherrie.
The scholarship is awarded by the Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Charitable Trust, which is administered by trustee
and wealth management company Guardian Trust. This exhibition featuring the finalists in the 2012 Henrietta & Lola Anne Tunbridge Watercolour Scholarship award is on at projectspace B431 until 25 August.
The public will get a further chance to view Sampson’s work at her end of year display as part of the Elam Graduate Show
later this year and also in the 21st Annual Wallace Art Awards next month.
Elam School of Fine Arts
20 Whitaker Place
The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the Elam School of Fine Arts,
School of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for Art Research (CAR), the School of Music and the Dance Studies