Young IHC Art Awards winner confirms his top ranking

Media release 

6 November 2020


Palmerston North student Malachi Oldridge has confirmed his top ranking by winning the IHC Art Awards 2020 and a $5000 prize.

Malachi, who is in his final year at Awatapu College, won with his self-portrait Malachi is a Māori Boy. It is a companion piece to a work submitted last year of his grandmother Kararaina Oldridge, entitled My Nani as a Māori Girl. He won the People’s Choice award with that work.

The pencil drawings are inspired by two 1955 wood engravings by New Zealand artist Ernest Mervyn Taylor Māori Boy (Rewi) and Māori Girl (Hina).

“Malachi is such a beautiful portrait artist,” says Judge Tim Walker. “I first saw his work last year when he won third prize and the People’s Choice award. This self-portrait is a wonderful example of his really distinctive drawing style.”

Art tutor Aroha Lowe says Malachi set out to create a “brother piece” to last year’s drawing. “He said, ‘This will match with a picture of my Nani’.” But she says the new work has distinct differences. “It’s quite different. Apart from everything else, it’s heavier and it’s blacker – and that is quite deliberate.”

This year’s awards were a ‘contactless’ event thanks to COVID-19. There was no national exhibition of finalists’ work and no gala night to announce the winners, so Malachi and the other winners got the news by special delivery. A bouquet of six gold balloons were delivered to Awatapu College by courier for Malachi, six silver balloons went to second-place winner Michael Nathan and six rose-gold / bronze balloons for third-place winner Gary Buchanan. 

Michael Nathan won $2000 for his work Infinity Part 1. Michael, who works at Māpura Studios in Auckland, won first place in the 2019 IHC Art Awards. Gary Buchanan won $1000 with his work New Convention Centre of Christchurch. Gary is following the Christchurch rebuild by painting many of the new buildings.

The judging was done by artist Otis Frizzell, jewellery designer Boh Runga and arts and culture consultant Tim Walker.

Voting is now open for the IHC Art Awards’ ‘People’s Choice’ award. Select your favourites from the finalists in this year’s competition at