Dunedin trio in Wallace Art Awards

Three Dunedin artists have made the finals of the prestigious national Wallace Art Awards.

Artists Sam Foley, Justin Spiers and Alex Lovel-Smith made the cut along with Dunedin-born, Auckland-based artist Jodie Salmond, Auckland artist Yonel Watene, who has been working in Dunedin and former Dunedin School of Art student Pete Wheeler, who is now based in Berlin.

The nine Wallace awards, worth more than $275,000, including five international art residencies, monetary prizes and stipends, are given for contemporary New Zealand painting, sculpture, video, drawing and unique photography and print.

This year's awards are being judged by artists Jae Hoon Lee, Richard Maloy and arts academic Linda Tyler.

Winners will be announced at the opening of the awards exhibition at Pah Homestead, Auckland on Monday.

Foley won the award's Kaipara Trust Award, its second-highest honour, in 2013. It included a four-month artist residency at the Altes Spital Cultural Centre in Solothurn, Switzerland.

''It was pretty epic,'' he says.

The work he has entered this year is a continuation of work produced while he was living in Berlin last year.

''I captured the moving image on my return to New Zealand late 2016, finishing the painting and editing the moving image component in June 2017.''

Foley's work features an empty strip club.

The moving image component features a projected strip routine with a sound track including Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker Suite playing through a music box.

Lovell-Smith has entered the awards for the first time with a work which came from his master of fine art research, which he completed last year on the ''changes that are occurring to photography in the post-postmodern world''.

Dark Intersection is a series that ''steps outside of the frame of the smartphone screen, bringing a level of complexity to the constructed image and loading the snapshot style with layers of complex construction,'' he said.

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