"An Icon has a mysterious ability to channel profound insights into the human condition, and provoke a sense of wonder and recognition." – Governor-General of New Zealand, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro
At Government House on Wednesday night, three prominent Aotearoa artists officially became icons.
To be selected by the Arts Foundation for this award is rare, and being invited to join the living circle of New Zealand's 20 Icons Whakamana Hiranga is one that deserves special celebration. The night, hosted by New Zealand Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro to officially honour the new icon status of Dame Jane Campion, Fatu Feu'u ONZM, and Dame Robin White, naturally drew an artistic crowd who eagerly dressed the part.
A menagerie of talented people from across the arts community rubbed shoulders at the event as the NZTrio performed classical tunes. Everyone from Sam Neill (who accepted Campion’s award on her behalf) to Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Arts Foundation general manager (and Ensemble contributor) Jessica Palalagi showed up in their own version of glamour to toast the new icons. The event was also a last hurrah for outgoing Arts Foundation chair Garth Gallaway, who was joined by the new co-chairs Chelsea Winstanley and Kent Gardner.
Sartorial self-expression was evident right down to the smallest details, and lucky for us, photographer Mark Tantrum was there capturing the magic in the room.