Whiteliffe MFA Student Christina Pataialii Awarded 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship

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Whiteliffe MFA Student Christina Pataialii Awarded 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship

The Iris Fisher Scholarship is a national award of $5,000 and is open to postgraduate students enrolled in a visual arts/fine arts programme. It has been established to support the development of emerging New Zealand artists.

This is another significant achievement for Pataialii, whose series of paintings The Dream Team is currently being exhibited in The Tomorrow People, a national exhibition of emerging artists at the Adam Art Gallery, curated by Christina Barton, Stephen Cleland and Simon Gennard. The exhibition opened 22 July and is on until 1 October 2017.

Christina’s large scale, gestural canvases merge culturally specific codes with a more formal painting language to lift paintings’ ability to critique existing structures of power, both cultural and art historical. Her paintings propose a new kind of cultural and pictorial space that is complex and direct in its signification.

Te Tuhi Artistic Director Gabriela Salgado, comments "More significantly, due to her use of ordinary household materials and large format her paintings invite a dance-like relationship with the viewer that impregnates the gallery with the experience of public spaces, where the eye engages with mass media images."… "Thus her works are close relatives of street art painting but in nestling on the canvas they evoke personal and collective pathos to powerfully render a novel story of painting and the politics of representation."

Pataialii is currently in her final year of studying towards a Master of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. As the 2017 Iris Fisher Scholar, Christina is proposing to use the funds to go towards the cost of developing and creating large scale paintings which will form the basis of her graduating exhibition early in the new year.

For more information about our MFA programme, please visit our department page.

Image credit: California Love - Tupac and My Cousin - Dwayne Johnson

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