The lobby of Tāmaki Makaurau’s Aotea Centre was a sea of colour, texture and incredible jewellery on Friday night, at the 2023 Arts Foundation Te Tumu To Laureates Party.
From director and Arts Foundation co-chair Chelsea Winstanley’s gorgeous silver silk gown to artist Cora-Allan’s yellow Kowtow dress and blue coat by KaistorSt, it was a seriously well-dressed audience that rivalled many of the other events happening around the city during NZ Fashion Week: Kahuria.
Once guests were seated inside the auditorium, kaiwhakahaere matua general manager of the Arts Foundation Te Tumu To Jessica Palalagi welcomed everyone with a new take on the Warriors’ fan refrain – “Up the arts!” – and later presented each laureate with a beautiful lei, created by artist Faamele Etuale.
Nine artists were named as recipients of this year’s Arts Foundation Te Tumu To Laureate Awards, an annual recognition of outstanding artists making an impact; with each awarded a $35,000 gift to help them continue their mahi.
There were plenty of personal and sentimental moments throughout the night. The awards opened with a moving and rousing performance from Whirimako Black and Delaney Davidson, with the audience cheering and joining in. Later, Oscar Kightley introduced Ladi6, the recipient of the Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award, with an emotional speech; while Sean MacDonald, recipient of the Burr/Tatham Trust Award, accepted his award with an epic dance performance to the delight of the crowd.
Abigail Dell'Avo went along to the awards to photograph some of the very stylish crowd.
The 2023 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureates
Fiona Clark – visual activist, photographer: My ART Visual Arts Award
Sean MacDonald – dance: Burr/Tatham Trust Award
Robert Jahnke – sculpture: Jillian Friedlander Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award
Ladi6 – music: Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award
Annie Goldson – documentary film: Dame Gaylene Preston Documentary Film Makers Award
Taiaroa Royal – dance: Toi Kō Iriiri Queer Laureate Award
Giselle Clarkson – illustration: Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award
Peter Black – photography: Marti Friedlander Photographic Award
Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi – sculpture: John and Jo Gow Sculpture Award