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Parkin Drawing Prize pushing boundaries once again

The winner of the Parkin Drawing Prize will be announced in Wellington tomorrow night.

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1 NEWS got a sneak peak at the Wellington exhibition before it opens to the public. Source: 1 NEWS

“I think one of the great things about this award is that it's always taken a very elastic approach to what constitutes drawing,” Judge Dr Sarah Farrar said.

This year, 563 entries from around the country were submitted, with 80 pieces shortlisted in an eclectic collection that has once again pushed the boundaries on what’s considered a drawing.

“When you look around you it's pretty hard to say sometimes because you look at some of these works and you think now is that really a drawing but I think rather than try and define it, I’ve always relied on the judging panel to decide what’s a drawing and what’s not,” prize founder Chris Parkin said.

Bacteria on a ceiling tile, a drawing on the side of a parcel delivered to the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts where the prize exhibition is held, a QR code that leads to a charcoal animation and a ballpoint pen tally on eco-toilet paper are some of the shortlisted pieces.

“I've been surprised at the breadth of where artists will go with the idea of drawing... four or five years ago Kirsty Lillico won the prize with a piece of carpet that had sort of been cut into various shapes and hung over a beam and I must admit that was probably the one I was least sure about,” Parkin said.

Other winning entries have drawn controversy in the past too.

Last year's ‘Forward Slash’ by Poppy Lekner was compared to the work of an overseas artist, while the ‘Observer’ by Douglas Stitchbury in 2014 was based on a famous photo of astronomer Edwin Hubble

This year, New Plymouth artist Harry Moores has combined both pieces in his artwork.

“I kind of looked back on previous works and saw that there's been a couple of controversial works in the past so I thought I might just sort of stir up a little bit of imagination and see what the public would respond to,” he told 1 NEWS.

“The controversy doesn’t really worry me at all, it would be the lack of controversy that worried me,” Parkin said.

The prize winner will be awarded $25,000 and 10 other artists awarded merit for their pieces will receive $500.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 3 August to 29 August.