Watercolour New Zealand’s major exhibition for 2014 was heralded as our best display of paintings to date. 239 paintings were hung and 30 matted works displayed. 102 artists were represented, sending paintings from as far afield as Gisborne, Auckland and Geraldine. We were delighted to have entries from 10 artists who have not submitted work for a Splash® exhibition before.
The venue, the Fletcher Challenge foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre, afforded space for plenty of display stands, enabling us to mount this impressive exhibition. The high standard of work reflects the good teaching of our tutors and the enthusiasm of members. Events taking place in the auditorium during the exhibition included a National Orchestra Concert, the Massey Fashion Show, the Orchestra Baby Pops and a concert by “The Seekers” on their 50th anniversary tour.
These shows brought diverse crowds of viewers through the exhibition. The overwhelming response from visitors is that they love the show. A group of Australians visiting on a cruise ship said “It’s a fantastic show, much better than the ones we go to in Sydney.” They commented that the paintings were very reasonably priced given the high quality of the work.
Other visitors have praised the variety of subject matter and styles and the quality of the layout and hanging. A manager who was running late for a meeting insisted on viewing all of the paintings, saying “This is more important!”
A number of visitors who have been attending our exhibitions for years have said they think this is the best yet. Our 'Splash' exhibition has now firmly established itself as one of the highlights of the Wellington Arts Calendar.
This year the WNZ Supreme Award went to Bernadette Parsons of Mercer for her stunning painting “Waimakariri”. With so many outstanding paintings in the exhibition, the judge’s decision was a difficult one.