Malcolm Smith Gallery, Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 11 (2017)


Roma Anderson, Liminal, 42 x 59.4 cm, kappa-mounted inkjet print of 120mm Gevaert Gevabox digitally scanned negative

Artist Statement:

Estuaries occupy a liminal space between land and sea. They are subject to the conditions impressed by humankind and the attitudes of the environment. Pollution, runoff, tides, and weather, together perpetuate the estuary’s state of flux. It has no control of its surrounds yet despite this hindrance, maintains the delicate balance of its ecosystems, allowing its inhabitants to continue to live above and below its confines. Spaces change in close proximity, and the delicate relationships between mud, water, light and trees are captured in Liminal;the water a transitive barrier between an ecological domain and human understanding.

I wanted to get closer to examine the specific beauty that operates in the balance of these boundaries present in estuary systems, to isolate these relationships and elevate them.

Photography, too, is subject to time and changes in the environment, and felt appropriate to address the vulnerability of the estuary as a space. Analogue photography carries a sense of nostalgia in its method; something that was enhanced during the process of taking and developing the image—the soft red burn of the light, prominent grain and dust contributing to this softness and sense of familiarity.

Roma Anderson, artist


Judge’s Statement:
MERIT AWARD: Roma Anderson, Liminal

Roma Anderson’s photogtaphic print Liminal takes representations of landscape, a subject matter that could not be more ordinary, and gives it an almost painterly treatment which exudes nostalgic imaginings of the former untouched state of the Tāmaki Estuary. The distorted perspective – from below the waters surface looking up – conflates the barriers between land, sky and sea. Combined with visible scratches on the surface that mimic similar markings seen on historic film negatives, the image oscillates between a utopian past and hopes for the estuary’s future.

Ane Tonga, Judge


Exhibition Statement:

The only contemporary art prize in Aotearoa New Zealand with ecology at its core. Artists are invited to research and respond to the Tāmaki Estuary, to underscore the ecological value of this vital waterway and encourage action against its pollution.

Malcolm Smith Gallery


Coverage: Courtesy of ArtsDiary and Eastlife Magazine

ArtsDiary Malcolm Smith Gallery Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 11, 2017, coverage:

Eastlake Magazine Malcolm Smith Gallery Estuary Art and Ecology Prize 11, 2017, coverage: