UC fine arts graduate wins Canterbury prize

12 March 2020

Christchurch-based artist and University of Canterbury (UC) fine arts graduate Janna van Hasselt has won the annual Zonta Ashburton Female Art Awards (ZAFAA) with a brightly coloured, glazed porcelain artwork called Totter.

  • Janna van Hasselt

    Janna van Hasselt with her winning artwork Totter at the Ashburton Art gallery. Photo credit: Emmily Harmer.


Porcelain sculpture Totter won out over the ZAFAA finalists.

The annual ZAFAA exhibition returned to the Ashburton Art Gallery, in partnership with the Zonta Club of Ashburton, to highlight the work of female visual artists in Canterbury and promote excellence in emerging and mid-career female artists.

Van Hasselt’s winning work was one of 41 created by artists (26 for the Premier Award, and 15 for the Young Generation Award) presented in the awards exhibition, which opened on Friday 6 March.

The judges, Sarah McClintock, Cheryl Lucas and Lydia Baxendell noted the “honesty, energy, tension, joy and the immense skill” that the artwork displayed, noting that “it (was) incredibly memorable” for each of them.

Along with a cash prize of $3,500, van Hasselt has also won the invaluable opportunity to create a solo exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery in 2021. The judges noted this in their decision, saying that with Totter, they “clearly saw the potential for an amazing exhibition” next year.

The exhibition opened alongside ZAFAA19 premier winner Melissa Macleod’s solo exhibition, The Trappings of Ghosts. Macleod is also a UC fine arts graduate.

The ZAFAA awards exhibition will be on display until 12 April 2020. Visitors can choose their favourite artwork for the People’s Choice award.

Macleod’s solo exhibition will run until 19 April 2020; she will present a public talk on 19 April 2020.

UC alumni, current students and staff featured heavily in the finalists’ exhibition included Abby Baillie, Audrey Baldwin, Jen Bowmast, Rosetta Brown, Sarah Brown, Olivia Chamberlain, Kaitlin Fitzgibbon, Jacquelyn Greenbank, Ella Hickford, Phoebe Hinchliff, Mi Kyung Jang, Orissa Keane, Hannah Phillips, Emma Wallbanks.

The awards exhibition is delivered through a partnership between the Zonta Club of Ashburton and the Ashburton Art Gallery, and supported by the Ashburton District Creative Communities, ANZ Private Banking, Bushey Park Trust, Real Estate New Zealand, Everist Gilchrist Lawyers, House of Travel, Curves Gym, Agribuild Consultants and Valuers, and CharRees Vineyard.


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