2020 Grace Butler Artist’s Residency won by UC lecturer

02 March 2020

University of Canterbury senior lecturer and sculptor Louise Palmer is the 2020 recipient of the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara.

  • 1.	Louise Palmer, 90 Canon (living room), 2016, site-specific installation in ar

    Louise Palmer's artwork: 90 Canon (living room), 2016, site-specific installation in artist’s house.

University of Canterbury senior lecturer and sculptor Louise Palmer is the 2020 recipient of the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation Award at Ara.

A contemporary art award for an artist who has an association with Canterbury and whose work “gives consideration to place and environment", it consists of a three month residency, a $20,000 grant and studio at Ara School of Art and Design.

The selection panel for 2020 were lecturer in Art History and Theory at UC, Barbara Garrie, artist Jacquelyn Greenbank and curator at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Ken Hall. They commented that Palmer’s application presented a thoughtful and highly personal meditation on the notion of place, and the ways in which "we construct our sense of place and belonging through the domestic environments that we inhabit. Louise’s work reflects on our everyday encounters with objects and spaces, and the intimate connections that we establish with them. Working at the quiet edge of things, her works are ideas or propositions as much as they are objects. Louise’s practice is compelling in the way that it gently and generously opens itself out to the subjective experiences of audiences."

The selection panel also commended the submission received from artist, Tyne Gordon.

Dr Bruce Russell, Manager of Art and Design at Ara Institute of Canterbury congratulated Palmer and said that they are very proud to be associated with the Award. "We value the chance to offer studio facilities and support to eminent practitioners who can, in their turn, give something back to the aspiring artists of the future through the example of their work."

Louise Palmer is senior lecturer in Sculpture at UC's School Of Fine Arts and says that she feels extremely privileged to be offered the Award and opportunity which comes at a point in her artistic career when she wishes to shift focus and develop a new body of work.  "The Grace Butler Award residency offers the ideal time and space for this.  I’m excited by the freedom to explore and experiment, afforded by three-months in the studio.  I’m also looking forward to engaging with the visual arts community at Ara."

"Ongoing aspects of my practice- include; site-specific sculpture, smaller cast and reconfigured found objects, sculptural drawings, curatorial projects and writing of a personal nature. This residency opportunity will be used to reconsider and work through the points of convergence between these strands.

"My recent installations and sculpture have addressed the home as a site for reflection and action. Works planned during this residency are similarly drawn from the personal, and are also grounded in Christchurch and its shifting built environment. The support of the Grace Butler Award will enable a new body of work including drawings and a series of objects cast from plaster and bronze."

The Award was established by the artist’s daughter, Grace Adams and the Grace Butler Memorial Foundation in remembrance of Grace Butler (1886 – 1962).  As a woman artist, working in the early decades of the 20th century, her plein-air paintings represented a model for the generation that followed, giving credibility to landscape as an appropriate subject for women artists.

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