Elam artist wins Glaister Ennor Award

20 June 2017
Jordan Davey-Emms
Jordan sitting with her winning-work.

An obsession with tactile surfaces coupled with a desire to find fresh ways to meaningfully connect with place, formed part of the impetus behind a winning artwork by Elam School of Fine Arts graduate Jordan Davey-Emms.

The 22-year-old won first prize in this year’s Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Awards worth $5,000 with her installation entitled Open Set / Sponge Mass, plus an invitation to exhibit at the Sanderson Contemporary Art Gallery in Auckland next year.

Established in 2006, the Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Awards recognise the best emerging artists from honours and masters programmes at Auckland art schools.

The judges - writer and art consultant John Daly-Peoples and curator Ioana Gordon-Smith - selected Jordan from a total of sixteen recent graduates from Auckland University of Technology, Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec and Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

Open Set / Sponge Mass was an adaptation of Jordan's previous honours work where she built on moments of connection with local surfaces, and engaged with the world as a bundle of materials in process.

"Open Set / Sponge Mass invites us to look carefully at surfaces and edges. The various components function as their own network as we attempt to connect the surface of one component with the material character of another. In making connections between fragments, Davey-Emms creates the conditions for prolonged looking, a sustained examination of not only the singular but how it might connect to other parts within the greater network,” says Ioana Gordon-Smith, Curator, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.

Jordan, who graduated from the University of Auckland in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with first class honours, was nominated for the award by staff from Elam School of Fine Arts, alongside University of Auckland art students Kate Cox, Robyn Jordaan, and Felix Pryor.

Having lived in Auckland for the duration of her study, Jordan has since returned home to the small Bay of Plenty district of Thornton, where she is spending time with her family, while also working to build a sustainable art practice.

She says she is extremely excited about the award and thrilled to have the opportunity and means to continue to extend her practice.  

Media queries to m.playfair@auckland.ac.nz