Academy Galleries

130 years: A long and proud history

Spring Exhibition 2021

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Spring is here! 


The Spring Exhibition, delayed by Lockdown and rescheduled to hang alongside and compliment two ceramic exhibitions in LightSpace Gallery, has arrived in a flourish of colour and vigour.

Transcending the associated space constraints that decreed a stringent selection, the busy walls tending to salon hung to accommodate the many and varied works, are a symphony traversing the spectrum of media. Each section of such diverse artworks and individual appeal is a cohesive collection adding to the dimensions of the exhibition dialogue that celebrates artists’ creativity undaunted by pandemic impacts.

Keeping this NZ Academy of Fine Arts exhibition relevant, vital and aspirational are works by Tom Armstrong, Paula McNeill, David Owen, Philippa Christmas, Roger Hayman, Phil Quinn, Paul Deacon, Lindsay Blakeley, Gabrielle Ridgway Evans and Bonnie Coad to name a few who deliver provocative, stimulating, contemplative and engaging visions and perspectives supremely crafted and executed with exceptional quality and presentation. 

Thank you to the artists from around the country who triumphed over challenges to submit to this celebration of Spring and new life. As always no exhibition materialises without the team of unpackers and installers working their magic, and Rob, an indispensable support in the process. To all I am immeasurably grateful for their energy and contribution that has enhanced the Academy’s Spring Exhibition 2021.

Suzanne Herschell
October 2021


To view an online copy of the Autumn Exhibition catalogue, please click here.


Exhibition Award Winners

Each members exhibition has two major awards presented; The President's Award, and The Curator's Award. Where appropriate Merit Awards can also be considered.

The President's Award was judged by Philip Markham, past NZAFA President.

Philip's comments are as follows;

A work that rewards comtempation. The piece moves image making in new directions with confidence and an immaculate technique.

The winner of the award is Sebastian Schuster "There is Only 1"

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The Merit Award selected by Philip Markham, past NZAFA President.

Philip's comments are as follows;

Beautifully composed image that extends the range of printmaking into new areas.

The winner of the award is Hamish Macaulay "Coastal Shift"

IMG_7170 Hamish Macaulay.jpg


The Curator's Award is judged by Suzanne Herschell, Life member of NZAFA.

Among the disparate array of media and colour clamouring for attention, this quiet work lay on the floor discreetly rather like the subject of the portrait. In the melee of a demanding population she caught my eye – spoke in subtle tones and demeanour. I rested her against the wall to view from a distance. She grew in stature, commanding consideration. Hanging on the wall she was a haunting presence in her subdued palette and intriguing complex textures evoking an ageless, indefinable body and mystery redolent with female commentary. What a wonderful portrayal impeccably presented.

Congratulations to Paula McNeill for ‘SHE KNOWS HER PLACE’. She certainly does!

The winner of the award is Paula McNeill "She Knows Her Place!"


IMG_7165 Paula McNeill.jpg

The Merit Award selected by Rob Sullivan, Exhibitions NZAFA

Rob's comments are as follows;

The work made me stop and take notice - its use of colour, the familiar memories of simpler times, the thought provoking symbols, numbers and equations.  I connect with works that have an “extra” dimension – this work invited me to ponder what the artist was saying, before the realisation of time had passed while I formulated my own interpretation and answers. 

The winner of the award is Tom Armstrong "Portrait of the Artist (Physics of Indifference)"


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Spring Exhibition 2021

IMG_7108 Spring Exbn installation.jpg IMG_7102 Spring Exbn installation.jpg IMG_7111 Spring Exbn installation.jpg IMG_7113 Spring Exbn installation.jpg IMG_7165 Paula McNeill.jpg IMG_7162 Tom Armstrong.jpg IMG_7170 Hamish Macaulay.jpg IMG_7174 Sebastian Schuster.jpg IMG_7131 Wall view.jpg IMG_7132 Wall view.jpg IMG_7135 Wall view.jpg IMG_7141 Wall view.jpg IMG_7179 Ric Brown & Vivian McKenna.jpg IMG_7202 Ric Brown & Paula McNeill.jpg