'Minimalist' artwork Forward Slash sweeps up the Parkin Drawing Prize

Credit: Video - Newshub; Image - Parkin Prize / Poppy Lekner

An unexpected piece of art has taken out the top spot at a Wellington drawing competition.

The 2020 winner of the Parkin Drawing Prize, New Zealand's premier award for drawing, was an A4 page filled with forward slashes.

Artist Poppy Lekner was this year's winner out of 482 entries, taking home a $25,000 cash prize.

Lekner created the artwork a day before submissions closed, using a second-hand typewriter, and said she was "pleased" and "surprised" to have won the award.

She said for hours she typed forward slashes one line after the next, having to keep consistent pressure.

"It can be therapeutic but painful," she said.

Head judge Charlotte Davy is content with her decision.

"People have to remember that minimalism and subtlety don't mean that there isn't a good concept at play.

"The kind of things that it conveys about a stillness, or a kind of mantra, in a world that's chaotic, feels really beautiful," she said.

Lekner says receiving the winning cash will give her "a sense of more freedom to buy art materials".

Ten other finalists have also won a merit prize for this award.

The finalists' artwork will be for sale and can be purchased from the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts between August 4 - August 30 2020.

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