Danae Ripley, a Master of Creative Practice student, has won the Craig's Investment Partners Youth Award in the recent annual Molly Morpeth Canaday Award -- Painting and Drawing.
Her piece, entitled Nice Folk and Pleasantries, was praised by international guest judge Dr Christopher McAuliffe for depicting the fear and angst of being in a room full of people, with the subjects “performing their way of out of their anxiety”. He points out the body language as being “mute, defensive and desperate efforts to avoid anyone’s gaze” and bemoans the fact that “in the age of digital sociability, the life has gone out of real parties.”
Danae wins $2,500 in prize money which she says she’ll put towards paint, wood, canvas and “perhaps some new shoes”.
Danae completed a Certificate of Design and Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Creative Enterprise at Unitec before embarking on her Master in Creative Practice this year. She attributes the initial influence in her work to contemporary German painter Neo Rauch and also the unique teaching practice at Unitec where she says there is “a huge focus on making, where no style is obsolete and instead new suggestions are put forward by staff who are well versed in the contemporary terrain.”
The Molly Morpeth Canaday Award -- Painting and Drawing has been running for nearly 30 years and is dedicated to excellence across contemporary and traditional painting genres. It is staged by Whakatāne District Council and Arts Whakatāne.
Danae was also a finalist in the recent New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award 2019.