Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award

Friday 4th May – Sunday 10th June 2018

The inaugural Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award was held in 2013 at the Lysaght Watt Gallery in Hawera, South Taranaki.

The major prize of $3000 (sponsored by the Lysaght Watt Trust), as well as several other sponsored prizes, continues to draw entries from artists throughout New Zealand. Now in its sixth year, the Award has grown in national awareness.

A different theme is selected annually, with past themes including ‘Daily life’, ‘Yin Yang’, and ‘Self Portrait’. This year’s theme is Rising.

An esteemed member of the New Zealand Art community is invited each year to choose the overall winner. They also choose the winners of the individual prize categories, including 3D, 2D and Local Artist. A gala evening is held at the Lysaght Watt Gallery to announce the winners and open the exhibition. The People’s Choice Award is given to the artwork with the most votes from the public by the end of the show.

The award-winning artworks

2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award First Overall Winner: ‘Beat’ by Nour Hassan.
2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Highly Commended 3D Winner: ‘Repotted’ by Blue W Black.
2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Highly Commended 2D Winner: ‘Sweet Dreams II’ by Joon-Hee Park
2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Commended 2D Winner: ‘Transition’ by Sophie Joy Prendergast
2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Commended 3D Winner: ‘Star Finder’ by Di West

2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Local Artist Winner: ‘On, Upward Through the Herb-fields’ by Jean Finer
2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award People’s Choice Award Winner: ‘Rising Eventers’ by Teresa Buhler

2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award Prizewinners:

Lysaght Watt Trust FIRST OVERALL AWARD – $3000:
Nour Hassan (Auckland) for Beat
Beat reflects a period I struggled with addiction. My interpretation of the theme ‘Rising’ is using your struggles to elevate you to another place.

“This whole experience has been so surreal. It means so so much to me. I feel I can begin to take myself seriously as an artist and work harder.

“In this tiny little corner of the world I found the support I needed and I am so thankful for it.

“What you guys are doing is amazing. It really is. I am so thankful.” – Nour Hassan

Meremere / Ohangai Rural Women HIGHLY COMMENDED 2D AWARD – $500:
Joon-Hee Park (Auckland) for Sweet Dreams II
I explore my childhood memories and dreams through my art. I wanted to float away with my squishy meringues, into my sweet dream, and rise above all the worries and fear.

“After a long, stressful day, this is the most fabulous news to hear. So amazing, I am speechless.

“I am with you tonight as it is a self-portrait… I am always the main object in my artwork as I paint about my dreams and my childhood memories.

“Thank you so much.” – Joon-Hee Park

Neil Walker & Family HIGHLY COMMENDED 3D AWARD -$500:
Blue W Black (Dunedin) for Repotted
I retreat to the studio. Troubled, obsessed with making flowers, symbolic of peace, love and beauty as plants rising from the earth. 

Blue is presently in hospital and was unable to throw enough words together – other than being delighted about the news, and the pleasure of having had the opportunity to exhibit her work.

Greaves Electrical COMMENDED 2D AWARD – $250:
Sophie Joy Prendergast (Auckland) for Transition
A youthful woman, hair flowing like a river, she feels weightless. The world is her oyster and for this she will rise like the tide and take on the wonders that the world has to offer her.

“Thank you so much and what a wonderful surprise this is. After three and a half years travelling, it was time to come home and get some stability back into my life – so I decided to focus on my art and the art world and putting myself out there. So by entering this competition, I have definitely “felt the fear and done it anyway”!

“This photograph is of my sister with whom I have reconnected after being away for so long. I feel I have captured her blossoming from a child into womanhood and the emotions are captured by her facial expressions.” – Sophie Joy Prendergast

Beccard Motors COMMENDED 3D AWARD – $250:
Di West (Opua, Northland) for Star Finder
Star Finder is a bronze stylised narrative sculpture. A figure rises on a sky ladder to collect a golden star amongst the clouds. He is clearly rising to the challenge. 

“For me, art is about observing. I am often deeply influenced by thing and events around me; as an artist, my endeavour is to interpret my reactions and thoughts into paintings and sculpture.

“My focus is always one of optimism, with a touch of humour and playfulness. Most often the titles for my artworks are the catalyst for the creation; its words and metaphors are what I find interesting and take inspiration from.

“In my sculpture I am fascinated by line, form and balance… all my art has a narrative.” – Di West

Tandem Group LOCAL ARTIST AWARD – $250:
Jean Finer (Hawera) for On, Upward Through the Herb-fields
The sensation of ‘Rising’ is nowhere more striking than that in climbing our lovely mountain. Up through the vegetation zones of forest, scrub, tussock zone, to the beautiful, airy natural rock-gardens of the herb and moss fields.

“There is so much amazing work in the Gallery, so it was a wonderful surprise to receive this award.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on the mountain, and this painting depicts those happy times.

“Thank you to the Gallery for the wonderful exhibition.” – Jean Finer

Normanby Fibreglass PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – $250:
Teresa Buhler (Patea) for Rising Eventers
We have rising cliffs, rising heads and a bright future of 3 rising eventers.

This prize is awarded at the end of the exhibition to the artwork with the most votes from the public.


Award Ceremony & Winners

Award Ceremony & Winners
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LOCAL ARTIST WINNER Jean Finer (left) with her entry 'On, Upward Through the Herb-fields' - being congratulated by the Exhibition Curator, Margaret Springett (right).

Photos / Hawera Camera Club

All Entries

All Entries
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A selection of the 87 entries in the 2018 Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award.

Opening Night

Opening Night
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Committee members at the door ready to welcome all the people who turned up to hear the results and enjoy the diverse range of artwork.

Photos / Hawera Camera Club

Questions and comments

A few important details about the competition

Please read the Conditions of Entry for the official rules.


    Apologies for the date errors on the Conditions of Entry – these are the correct dates.

  • Closing date for Entry Forms: Thursday 29th March
  • Entries to be delivered to the Gallery: between Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th April
  • Opening Night and Award Ceremony for entrants & invited guests: Thursday 3rd May (starting at 5:45pm, prizegiving commencing at 6.30pm)
  • Exhibition Dates: Friday 4th May – Sunday 10th June


  • ONE entry per artist.
  • The theme for this competition is ‘Rising’ and all entries must comply with this theme.
  • The competition is open to both two dimensional works and three dimensional works in any media.


  • Both 2D & 3D works will be eligible for the First Overall award of $3,000.
  • After the First Overall award, there are 6 other cash prizes: 2D Highly Commended, 2D Commended, 3D Highly Commended, 3D Commended, Local Artist, and People’s Choice.
  • The judge’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


  • All works must be for sale, with a Gallery commission of 25%.
  • There is an entry fee of $45 which covers administration costs, and the cost of returning the artwork to the artist if not sold.


  • Unfortunately, entries that require a TV or a monitor are unable to be accepted.
  • Works that have been previously exhibited in Taranaki or Whanganui will not be accepted.

A huge thank you to our 2018 Sponsors: