Judges described the screen print creation called Te Henga Sunset as a “genuine labour of love” and 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 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 are 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. He said, “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 is just really opened up a well of good will for us. We love what we do and 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, they could only complete 30 at a time before it required a clean up. They then needed to remix colours, reproduce film layers, and obtain artist sign off 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 those processes, yet it was so beautiful. We were blown away. This screenprint was a genuine labour of love.”
30 YEARS OF PRIDE IN PRINT
The Pride In Print Awards celebrated its 30th anniversary in style.
Lisa Hegh, Pride In Print Awards chair, took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the awards such a huge success, from the patron and sponsors to the awards committee and the judges, and of course, the team at PrintNZ.
The Pride In Print Awards could not take place without support from the industry and its suppliers. 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.
Fittingly, two legends of Pride In Print, Fraser Gardyne and Grant Letfus, were present on the night. As 2023 convenor of judges, Fraser spoke briefly to the audience. He said, “It is quite special being here after 30 years. The first awards were held just down the road at the Civic Theatre.
“The wonderful thing about the judging process at the Pride In Print Awards is that, while we are part of one of the most competitive industries, the companies who enable the awards to happen by letting their staff do the judging; they all give us their time generously. All the judges work to get the best possible result through consensus and the positive spirit that everyone brings to the table is extraordinary.
“Tonight, we are celebrating the competitive nature of the industry, which brings the improvement in the quality of the work. The judging process is incredibly tough now. In the early days, people did not check their work as carefully and the judging was easier.”
In 1993, the Pride In Print Awards gave out 16 gold medals. At this year’s awards, that number is 202. Speaking to the audience, Ruth Cobb, chief executive at PrintNZ, explained, “It is about the fact that judges have seen an exponential lift in the quality of work that our industry produces, and this is something that everyone should feel incredibly proud of.
“One of the great things about print is that every job is bespoke, which allows you to approach each one differently. These entries certainly show that the creativity genes flow strongly through our industry. New technology, and sometimes old technology, gives you the ability to try new things for your customers; all done with requirements for the work to be more sustainable and more cost-effective, and you must find your customers that special point of difference. Our industry delivers all that. The reason that we can produce this work is the people in this industry and it is always such a pleasure to present the training awards.
“There has never been a more important time to train people. In these times, if you want to have more and effective staff, then you have to train your own. Print is a craft. This is proved in the way our apprentices talk in such technical terms about the work they show us.
“Listening to the apprentices assures us that print has a solid future. I must thank BJ Ball Papers for its ongoing support over many years. Through thick and thin, BJ Ball has supported our training programmes. We also thank our other training awards sponsors: Heidelberg, Competenz, Te Pūkenga, Trust4Skills, and the Graphic Arts Prepress Federation.”
The training awards winners are:
Trainer of the Year – Wade Collins from Seal Air Hamilton.
The Training Company of the Year – Blue Star Jackson.
Apprentice of the Year – Catriona Mellows from Display Associates.
The 30th Pride In Print Awards received 475 entries from 71 companies. The 202 gold medals were up 40 from the 2022 awards and the 78 highly commended medals were down nine from last year.