New Zealand: Drawing featuring typed forward slashes wins art competition

August 03, 2020

A woman has reportedly won £12,000 for a piece of art featuring thousands of forward-slash characters on an A4 piece of paper.

Poppy Lekner, who was born in England but moved to New Zealand, got the prize money for coming first in what local media called a prestigious competition.

Her "Forward Slash" creation was chosen out of 482 entries to win the 2020 Parkin Drawing Prize - and with it $25,000 (£12,647).

She admitted it may not be "everyone's cup of tea", according to the New Zealand Herald.

Ms Lekner revealed she only created it the day before entries closed in June, the newspaper reported.

"I have worked on lots of different explorations using the typewriter but I hadn't committed as much time previously as I had in this work, which required dedication because using a typewriter to mark make is quite a laborious thing," she said.

"I had to really concentrate the entire time.

"It's very easy to make a mistake on a very detailed, very fine thing."

Ms Lekner added the piece was "a different way to look at what drawing can be".

According to the Herald, the annual competition has had controversial winners before - such as a jumbled pile of carpet from an old state house.

Charlotte Davy, who judged this year's entries and is head of art at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, explained her thinking.

"It's such a beautiful... minimal work where she's really exploring a kind of meditation of process, literally just repeating forward-slash over and over again ... creating a beautiful woven pattern," Stuff website reported her saying.

"I felt it was really delicate, strong, and it spoke a lot to me about finding a place of contemplation in a world that feels quite chaotic."

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