Popular winners picked for new stamp designs

August 5, 2022

Four art works – all winners of the IHC Art Awards L’affare People’s Choice Award – have been chosen as the designs for new NZ Post stamps.

The IHC Art Awards showcase the creativity of hundreds of Kiwi artists with intellectual disabilities. The winners of the top prizes are selected by a panel of judges. Since 2013, members of the public have been able to cast their votes to choose a popular winner.

The four artworks used by NZ Post are the winners selected by public voting for the past four years. The works are by Matthew Tonkin, Katie McMillan, Malachi Oldridge and Charlize Wilson. This award is sponsored by Wellington coffee pioneer L’affare.

“Together the artworks make a wonderfully vibrant, colourful and dynamic set of stamps. We are very proud to be showcasing such high-quality works from the IHC community,” says Lynette Townsend, Programme and Content Manager for NZ Post Collectables. She says when NZ Post releases new stamps it looks for themes and designs that represent Aotearoa New Zealand and the stories of the people and communities of this country.

Importantly, the designs put forward by IHC were the ones chosen by members of the public. “We were really happy with what was selected and the rationale for selecting them.”

The winner of the L’affare People’s Choice Award 2021, Matthew Tonkin from Auckland, created his screen print Aeroplane at Two4nine art studio in Waitakere. Matthew’s work, and much subsequent work during the lockdowns, was inspired by a trip to Los Angeles in 2019 where he visited Disneyland and other theme parks with a group from disability service A Supported Life. Matthew loves air travel. “I like it when the plane takes off. It’s quite bumpy.”

The 2020 winner, Katie McMillan, made her Colourful Unicorn from coloured acrylic pompoms over a papier-mâché support, mounted on a shield. “I love all the bright colours and making this. I hope when people see it, they are happy,” she said.

Palmerston North artist Malachi Oldridge won in 2019 for his work, My Nani as a Māori Girl. The pencil drawing is a tribute to Malachi’s grandmother. She has been an inspiration for Malachi. My Nani as a Māori Girl is influenced by the late E. Mervyn Taylor’s artwork, Māori Girl (Hina).

Manukau City artist Charlize Wilson was a winner in 2018 for her painting, Looking Out from the Inside. Charlize was 13 at the time and a student at South Auckland Middle School. After winning she said, “The art is just a person looking outside. She is happy, she likes the view a lot.”

The 2022 IHC Art Awards have attracted entries from 412 artists from all over New Zealand. The Top 100 selected by our judges are being exhibited for a month in a pop-up gallery in central Wellington.

The 30 finalists, including the major prize-winners, have been chosen from these Top 100 by a judging panel of actor Libby Hunsdale, artist and sculptor Simon Lewis Wards and Student Volunteer Army CEO Sam Johnson. Winners will be announced on 28 July 2022.

Last year the IHC Art Awards introduced a new category for young artists. The winner of the Youth Award and a cash prize of $1500 is selected from entrants between the ages of 13 and 17 and drawn from the top 100 artworks. They are also eligible to win the L’affare People’s Choice Award ($2000) and first ($5000), second ($3000) or third place ($2000) overall. This year there has been a surge in the number of entries from young people still at school, from nine last year to 27 this year.

Voting is now open for the L'affare People's Choice Award. Voting closes at 5pm on Friday, 12th August 2022. This year for the first time, people can also vote in person at the gallery. Artworks can be purchased from the pop-up gallery.

Caption: Winning artworks from the IHC Art Awards L’affare People’s Choice Award (2019 – 2021) category featured in NZ Post’s newest stamp release in July.


This story was published in Strong Voices. The magazine is posted free to all IHC membersRead the full issue of Strong Voices or view more articles.