Photographer snaps premier prize

by Kent Caddick

Photographer Louise McHaffie has been named the overall winner of the 2017 Darfield Artweek art competition.

Ms McHaffie was awarded the Malvern Community Arts Council Premier Award, along with a cheque for $2,000, for a photograph of her daughter inside a painted water tank.

The Governor’s Bay resident said she was surprised by the award.

“It was a big surprise really. I don’t often enter art competitions as my work is personal, although I was a part of last year’s Darfield Artweek for the first time.”

The photograph ‘Provenance’ is of her daughter ‘Inky’ inside a water tank on their Governor’s Bay property which they use over the summer as a swimming pool.

“We were cleaning it out when I took the photograph. A lot of my photography is in-the-moment. I don’t set things up but take the photographs as they occur.”

She said her interest in art began at high school but didn’t really get involved until after the birth of their four children when she completed an art diploma through distance learning. 

“I do a lot of drawing as well and switch between that and photography.”

Darfield Artweek judge Jan Robertson said she was drawn to the photograph as it stood the test of frequent revisits.

“What captured my attention instantly with this photograph was the stunning composition and balance of complimentary colours,” she said. “There are layers of subtle marks which add depth and invite the viewer to look further and to also share in this private moment of a young girl having a drink.”

Ms Robertson, a sculptor and art teacher at Rangiora High School, said she was impressed by the overall standard and the variety of work on display at Darfield Artweek.

The Artweek exhibition at the Darfield Recreation Centre will remain open until October 15 and Selwyn residents are being invited to view the works and cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award to go into a draw for a voters’ prize.