The C Art Trust Award 2018 Anoushka Akel

The recipient of the 2018 award is Anoushka Akel

This is what curator Abby Cunnane said about Anoushka:

“Anoushka Akel is a talented artist whose work is unique in the field of contemporary painting. From an early stage as an artist she has steadily developed a distinct and quietly powerful visual language. To me her work is consistently recognisable for its deep and often subdued tones, well-worked surfaces, and the minimal lines which record her physical gestures in making the work. I first saw Anoushka’s painting five years ago, and immediately found it compelling for its peculiar luminosity, and a quality of restraint, precision or poise – I think these are paintings that demand time and attention in a similar way that incredibly simple narrative films sometimes do. Anoushka has spoken of her interest in painting’s capacity to hold non-linear or slow time: “I decided I wanted the works to burn slowly, to release their ideas over a longer period of time, as a counterbalance to the rapid consumption we have become so accustomed to in the age of the internet. This was something that I realised that painting had the power to do.” I think right now she is at a significant threshold as an artist, ready to consolidate her practice and test what’s next. The opportunity of solid time to spend in the studio is huge, I’m excited and interested to see what it opens up for the work.”

The Curator for the 2018 award is Abby Cunnane. Cunnane is a curator, currently based in Auckland where she is Director (Acting) ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT University. Her background is in Art History through Victoria University, and she has previously worked as curator at City Gallery Wellington. Recurrent curatorial interests include contemporary painting; the relationship between language, writing, reading and visual forms; discourse around decolonial and feminist critical practices in Aotearoa, writing and art that engages with environmental concerns. She is a co-founder of The Distance Plan (thedistanceplan.org), with NY-based artist Amy Howden Chapman. The Distance Plan publishes a journal series, holds exhibitions, talks and other public events designed to make space for interdisciplinary discussions at the intersection of art, environmental politics and sciences. Recent exhibitions include Still, Like Air, I'll Rise (2017); Imagine the Present (2016); curatorial advisor on Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show (Auckland Art Gallery, 2016); Climate and Infrastructure (Human Resources, LA, 2016); Bianca Hester: movements, materialising momentarily (2015); The things we talked about (2015); New Revised Edition (City Gallery Wellington, 2013).  

Three Handed Painting, 2012
oil and pastel on canvas
both works: 400 × 450mm
Installation view: Hop Scotch, Artspace, Auckland

Purple Prose, 800 x 650, 2017 - 1001Purple Prose, 800 x 650, 2017 - 1001

Purple Prose, 2017
oil and pastel on canvas
800 × 650mm

Bending blue, 2015
gesso, oil and pastel on canvas
1000 × 800mm

Back Front Brain, 2016
gesso, oil and pastel on canvas
1000 × 800mm

Three Handed Painting, 2012
oil and pastel on canvas
400 × 450mm

Three Handed Painting, 2012
oil and pastel on canvas
400 × 450mm

 

 

Bending blue, 2015
Installation view: Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show,
Auckland Art Gallery T
oi O Tamaki, 2015

A Better Surface Held Back, 2015
oil and pastel on canvas
500 × 550 mm

A Better Surface Held Back, 2015
oil and pastel on canvas
500 × 550 mm

Bending blue, 2015
gesso, oil and pastel on canvas
800 × 650 mm

 

Image credits: Sam Hartnett

Anoushka Akel – Curriculum vitae

Born 1977, Auckland, New Zealand
1995 – 2000 BFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
2009 – 2011 MFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, NICAI, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

 

 

Selected Exhibitions

2017
Biographies of Transition: Too Busy to Think, ARTSPACE, Auckland, New Zealand  

2016
Chain of Mountains, TCB, Melbourne, Australia
Back, Front, Brain, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (solo)
Painting: A Transitive Space, St. Paul Street Gallery 3, Auckland, New Zealand

2015
Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
A Better Surface Held Back, RM, Auckland, New Zealand (solo)
Spring 1883 with Hamish McKay Gallery, Sydney, Australia
New Paintings and Vases, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (two person)

2014
New Beginnings are in the Offing, Fuzzy Vibes, Auckland, New Zealand

Spring 1883 with Hamish McKay Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Girls Abstraction, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

2013
Porous Moonlight, Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2012
Club Mirage, Sue Crockford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
Hop Scotch, ARTSPACE, Auckland, New Zealand (two person)

2011
Paintings Paintings, Window Gallery, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Hewer Street Studios, Hewer Street Studios, London, United Kingdom

2010
Spring Trellis, B431 Project Space, Elam School of Fine Arts, NICAI, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Eat the Bar, M.F.A graduation show, Elam School of Fine Arts, NICAI The University of Auckland, New Zealand

2009
Picnic on a Frozen River, B431 Project Space, Elam School of Fine Arts, NICAI, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Henrietta and Lola-Anne Tunbridge Watercolour Scholarship Finalists, The George Fraser Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

2008
Various Artists, The Film Archive, Auckland, New Zealand
4 Star Producers, A Centre For Art, Auckland, New Zealand

2006
Publico/Privato, Piazza San Marco / Apartment, Venice, Italy

2001
Adrift, Conical Gallery, Melbourne, Australia 

 

Awards / Residencies

2016/2017 ARTSPACE, Auckland, New Zealand
2013 Künstlerhäuser Worpswede Residency, Worpswede, Germany
2009 Summer Scholarship, NICAI, The University of Auckland, New Zealand  
2006 Peggy Guggenheim Collection Internship, Venice, Italy

 

Selected Reviews and Texts

McWhannell, Francis, “Encounter and Exchange: Considering Painting a Transitive Space”, P.17, Painting a Transitive Space, AUT, Auckland, 2017
McWhannell, Francis, “Towards Variations on a Theme: Considering 'Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show” The Pantograph Punch,
http://pantograph-punch.com/post/considering-necessary-distraction-a-painting-show, February 2016
Cunnane, Abby, “A Conversation Between Milli Jannides, Anoushka Akel, Kirstin Carlin, Emma Fitts and Abby Cannane”, excerpt from Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, 2016, p. 210 - 217
Gardiner, Sue, “The Return of Gestural Abstraction”, Art News New Zealand, winter 2015, p.84 - 85 
Cormack, Emily, “A Better Surface Held Back”, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington, 2015
Hacking. Lily, “Porous Moonlight” Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland, 2013
Riva, Caterina, “Hopscotch", Artspace, 2012 
Hurrell, John, “Sensual Painting Show at Artspace”,
EyeContact, July 2012
Hanfling, Ed, “Auckland” (review of Paintings Paintings), Art New Zealand #138, 2011
Hurrell, John, “Paintings in Window”, EyeContact, www.eyecontactsite.com, February 2010
Nelson, Robert, “Nomadic Wit, Liquid Light and Focused Travelers”, The Age, Australia 2001
Palmer, Daniel, “Melbourne Artist Run Spaces: Fighting Fit”, Real Time 45, October-November, Australia, 2001.