As the Taranaki Foundation Emergence Art Awards 2024 approaches, two previous winners, Morgan Paige Taitoko and Brett Morrison share the impact these awards had on their artistic journeys.

The Emergence Awards, a biennial art competition and exhibition for emerging talent in Taranaki, serves as a unique space for young artists to showcase their work to a broader audience. To participate, artists must between the ages of 13 and 26, born in Taranaki, reside in the region, or have attended secondary school in Taranaki.

The Emergence Awards 2024 is proudly supported by the Taranaki Foundation through the Taranaki Hauora Fund, established in 2018 in memory of Leon Squire, son of Kelvin and Carolyn Squire. The Fund focuses on the well-being (hauora) of young people (rangatahi) and the nurturing of their creativity.

Gallery Director, Laura Campbell, emphasizes the significance of Emergence as a platform for Taranaki’s creative talent. “It provides young artists with a rare opportunity to showcase their abilities in a public gallery, fostering creative confidence and offering possibilities for recognition and even sales.”

Morgan Paige Taitoko – 2018 Emergence Award Winner:

“Winning Emergence gave me the confidence I needed to make my art a priority.”

Morgan Paige Taitoko, the 2018 Emergence Award winner, reflects on how the Emergence exhibition served as a turning point in her artistic journey.  “Winning gave me the confidence to prioritise my art, leading me to become a self-employed full-time designer and artist over the past six years.”

The experience not only boosted Morgan’s confidence but also provided financial support. The award money went directly into creating new artworks, covering exhibition costs, and establishing a website. Morgan emphasises, “It gave me the boost I needed to build my career and develop my artistic style.”

Since winning, Morgan has freelanced as a designer, worked on diverse projects locally and internationally, and showcased her work in exhibitions across Auckland and Taranaki. Returning to Taranaki in 2022, Morgan’s artistic expression has taken on a more abstract form.

Encouraging young artists to seize the Emergence opportunity in 2024, Morgan passionately says, “Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! It’s a chance to show off your best work and shine alongside other up-and-coming artists at Percy Thomson Gallery.”

Brett Morrison – 2022 Emergence Award Winner:

“I entered with no expectations, just the goal of seeing one of my photographs framed and displayed in a real gallery.”

Brett Morrison, the 2022 Emergence Award winner, shares her surprise and gratitude for winning, especially given the high calibre of work entered into the awards. ” Winning gave me the possibility to progress more with my art.”

Emergence allowed Brett to invest more in her photography, frame pieces for sale, experiment with different techniques and gain confidence in her artistic vision. Since winning, she has found community support to showcase and sell her pieces, explored South America for photography and experimented with various film development styles in the darkroom.

For young artists considering entering Emergence in 2024, Brett advises, “Just enter, even if you don’t feel ready yet! Seeing your work on the wall at Percy Thomson Gallery is amazing. It’s worthwhile for the feedback from judges and others in the art world. Tell your friends and get them to enter as well.”

  • You can read more about the Taranaki Hauora Fund here
  • Further information about Taranaki Foundation Emergence Art Awards 2024 can be found here