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When bus shelters become contemporary art

When bus shelters become contemporary art

Parallel of Art and Life bus shelter wins contemporary art award

A bus shelter referencing the "brutal" aesthetic of 50s and 60s buildings in Hamilton was voted the best in modern art last week.

Parallel of Life and Art by Auckland artists Michael Parr and Blaine Western won the 2012 National Contemporary Art Award, receiving $15,000 for their efforts.

According to them, the idea was inspired by Hamilton’s "employment of brutalist stylistics during the institutional building booms in the late fifties and sixties in the region".

The cantilevered bus shelter was installed on the grounds of Waikato Museum.  And if this photo is anything to go by, locals are already treating it just like they would a real bus stop.

This year’s judge, Caterina Riva, says preference was given to works and artists that clearly challenged the usual ways in which art is made and presented.

“The winners have managed to address successfully the local content but have also been brave enough to make and position their work outside the museum, and doing that, engaging in a wider social conversation with the city,” she said.

Riva also announced three merit awards for Untitled (After Rakaihautu) by Shannon Te Ao and Iain Frengley; Nelson Robot Coupe/C/Options by Oscar Enberg; and Auckland Studio Shot by Roman Mitch – Auckland.

The 2012 National Contemporary Art Award exhibition is open until November 18.

This year, 230 artists submitted their work and 19 finalists were selected:

  1. Adrian Jackman - Auckland
  2. Ben Clement - Auckland
  3. Bob Van Der Wal - Auckland
  4. Deborah Erueti - Christchurch
  5. Dorota Broda - Auckland
  6. Jennifer Mason - Auckland
  7. Jessica Pearless - Auckland
  8. Meiling Lee - Auckland
  9. Michael Parr, Blaine Western - Auckland
  10. Nicki Wynnychuck – Melbourne, Australia
  11. Oscar Enberg - Auckland
  12. Roman Mitch - Auckland
  13. Ruth Cleland- Auckland
  14. Sam Thomas - Auckland
  15. Shannon Te Ao, Iain Trengley - Nelson
  16. Simon Esling - Auckland
  17. Justin Spiers - Dunedin
  18. Maria Walls - Auckland
  19. Natalie Guy – Auckland