Academy Galleries

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Parking Drawing Prize 2021

Mark Braunias wins Parkin Drawing Prize

Mark’s work ‘In Search of the Saccharine Underground’, using ink and acrylic on industrial builders’ paper, was chosen as the winner from an impressive 563 entries nationwide and 80 finalists at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts’ Academy Galleries on Monday 2 August.

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 "In Search of the Saccharine Underground " by Mark Braunias

Reflecting on the winning artwork, Dr Sarah Farrar, the judge for this year’s prize said:

“As I walked around the Academy of Fine Art’s Queens Wharf galleries to view the 80 finalists in this year’s Parkin Drawing Prize, Mark Braunias’ work, ‘In Search of the Saccharine Underground’, kept pulling me into its orbit. Its raucous energy is irrepressible and hard to ignore.

Viewing the work, I felt transported into the artist’s studio where the ink and acrylic paint had only just been applied to the paper. In contrast to the exquisite, finely-wrought surfaces of some of the other finalists’ works, Braunias’ work is fresh, spirited and uncontainable. The artist’s seemingly spontaneous and intuitive mark-making is audacious, comic, and compelling.

The sign of a good artwork is that it continues to intrigue and delight over multiple viewings. I remain fascinated, slightly puzzled and powerfully drawn to Mark’s work.”


Mark, who was also a finalist for the Parkin Drawing Prize in 2018, is blown away with the award.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to win so I am feeling quite overwhelmed. The great thing about the Parkin is it allows you to draw a range of genres and styles.

‘In Search of the Saccharine Underground’ is related to the work I have been doing over the past 20 years and is very much a halfway point between drawing and painting. I wanted to put this into a more overt context about what is going on behind the work – taking the cute and giving it a formal modernist edge. It’s not just about doing cartoons and something funny but there is a seriousness behind the work.”


To view the full press release on the Parkin Drawing Prize website - please click here.


Dr Sarah Farrar also awarded 10 highly commended prizes worth $500 each. The recipients include:


  • Martin Ball for Remnant VII (Auckland)
  • Gareth Barlow for The Resurrection of Kahungunu (Sydney)
  • Anton Chapman for Escalation (Moraine and Mountain) (Auckland)
  • Belinda Griffiths for Emerge (Auckland)
  • Weilun Ha for Hydra (Auckland)
  • Colin Luxton for Jar (Te Aroha)
  • Sue Pearce for Your Perfect Face 2 (Dunedin)
  • Connah Podmore for Light Held Light (Wellington)
  • Fleur Stevenson for A Journey’s Drawing (Sydney)
  • Marion Wassenaar for Carbon Shroud (Dunedin)

This years exhibition was curated by Matt Gauldie.
The Parkin Drawing Prize exhibition season runs until 29 August at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Academy Galleries, Queens Wharf, Wellington.

All the artworks will be for sale giving admirers and collectors the opportunity to purchase some wonderful pieces.

Parkin Drawing Prize 2021

IMG_6854 Mark Braunias - In Search of the Saccharine Underground IMG_6862 Marion Wassenaar - Carbon Shroud.jpg IMG_6893 Cnr view.jpg IMG_6911 Wall view.jpg IMG_6919 Lightspace view.jpg IMG_6944 Cover photo 5 August.jpg IMG_6939 Wall view.jpg IMG_6972 Jennifer Summers.jpg IMG_6967 Pass the Blue Collective.jpg IMG_6962 Elisabeth Vullings, Adrienne Tait & Kate Sellar.jpg IMG_6960 James Robinson.jpg IMG_6957 Emma Lay.jpg IMG_6947 Holly Zandbergen, Morag Stokes & Panthea Rastegari.jpg 2.jpg 1.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg IMG_6975 Lucy Dolan Kang.jpg IMG_6983 Katherine Bedford, Stuart Forsyth & Fleur Stevenson (wi IMG_6985 Anne Daniel.jpg IMG_6989Cara Fotofili & Marie Le Lievre.jpg IMG_7013 Motoko Kikkawa & Anton Chapman (with entry photo).jpg IMG_7020 Andrew Beck (with entry photo).jpg IMG_7024 Michelle Sigley & Creek Waddington.jpg IMG_7027 Julia Christey, Sue Pearce & Emma Alexandra.jpg IMG_7028 Kelly Pretty & Sam Walker (with entry photo).jpg IMG_7035 Beatrice Carlson.jpg IMG_6903 Colin Luxton - Jar.jpg IMG_6906 Connah Podmore - Light Held Light.jpg IMG_6889 Anton Chapman - Escalation (Moraine and Mountain).jpg IMG_6880 Sue Pearce - Your Perfect Face 2 (My image).jpg IMG_6883 Weilun Ha - Hydra.jpg IMG_6867 Gareth Barlow - The Resurrection Of Kahungunu.jpg IMG_6847 Belinda Griffiths2 - Emerge.jpg IMG_6844 -Fleur Stevenson - A Journey's Drawing.jpg IMG_6839 Martin Ball - Remnant VII.jpg