Over 500 guests saw Onehunga-based Artrite claim the Supreme Award at the 30th annual Pride In Print Awards, held at the Cordis in Auckland on Friday night.
Judges described the screen print creation called Te Henga Sunset as a “genuine labour of love” and also awarded it the Specialty Products/Limited Edition & Fine Art Prints Category as well as the Screen Process Award.
Accepting the award on the night, Glenn Taylor, managing director at Artrite, said, “This is overwhelming. I have been in the industry a long time; started as a 16-year-old, coming straight from school to Artrite. So, to get this now is pretty special.
He described how Artrite had made a strategic decision to “stick with the knitting” in screen print versus other modes. He explained, “An artist will come up to us with an original work, and our job is to break down that job into single layers and try to recreate that job exactly as the painting.
“Art is a big thing and we’re having to compete against a digital market. We’re always evolving and learning new things. We are still finding better inks, better machinery, better techniques to achieve what digital can’t do. Really, we are trying to achieve a painting look, so that people will say, ‘How is this done?’”
He added that artist Matt Payne had expressed a “mind blowing response” to the work. “Matt was with us for most of the process too, so it was a real collaboration of him and us.
“We are privileged to work with so many talented artists from New Zealand and overseas and it’s just really opened up a good will for us – we love what we do, we have a passion for our craft. It never feels like a job.”
Pride In Print judges said, “The work is an incredible example of true print craftsmanship and artistic collaboration. It required the hand-mixing of 33 colours and production of film layers, which the artist needed to sign off each time.
“With colours prone to change during repeated screen pulls, only 30 could be completed at a time before a clean-up was required, with colours then needing to be remixed, film layers reproduced and artist sign off sought again.
“Taking three weeks and about 2000 hand pulls to complete, the result was an original screen print, produced with great detail and wonderful colour consistency over all areas.
“So many things can go wrong in all of those processes, yet it was so beautiful. We were blown away. This screenprint was a genuine labour of love.”
The Pride In Print Awards could not take place without support from the industry. Fujifilm New Zealand is the Patron of the awards. The awards sponsors are Avery Dennison, B&F Papers, BJ Ball, Currie Group New Zealand, DIC New Zealand, Kurz New Zealand, Nekkorb, Reproflex3, Paper Source, Ricoh New Zealand, Spicers, UPM Raflatac, and WML. The Friends of the Awards are Blue Star Group (New Zealand), Contact Labels & Print Finishers, PhilStic Labels, SCG, Sealed Air (Hamilton), and Wholesale Print. The media sponsor is New Zealand Printer Magazine.