Aotearoa New Zealand's contemporary art award, the Walters Prize returns to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2021 for its tenth iteration.

Named in honour of pioneering modernist painter Gordon Walters (1919–1995), the Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years. The biennial prize aims to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of cultural life.

The Finalists for 2021 are Sriwhana Spong, Fiona Amundsen, Mata Aho Collective and Maureen Lander, and Sonya Lacey.

Sriwhana Spong is represented by Michael Lett in Aotearoa. The judging panel nominated her work Now Spectral, Now Animal (2019/2020) which was exhibited at the Edinburgh Art Festival, 2019 and at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2020. For her presentation as part of the 10th Walters Prize exhibition, Spong has chosen to include her film The painter-tailor (2019, 16mm and HD video) in a new installation, together with textile works and instruments from her personal orchestra. Performances will also take place throughout the exhibition.

Fiona Amundsen has been nominated for A Body That Lives, 2018, exhibited at ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology from 28 September 2018–26 October 2018.

Mata Aho Collective and Maureen Lander have been nominated for Aka, 2019, exhibited in Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 8 November 2019–5 April 2020.

Sonya Lacey is represented by Robert Heald Gallery in Aotearoa. She has been nominated for Weekend, 2018, exhibited in the group exhibition Solo at The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, 10 November 2018–17 March 2019.


The 10th Walters Prize exhibition is open from Saturday 15 May to Sunday 5 September, 2021 at the Auckland Art Gallery, on the corner of Kitchener Street and Wellesley Street, Auckland CBD.

The winner of the prize will be chosen by international judge Kate Fowle, director of Moma PS1 in New York, and announced in August, 2021.

To learn more about the 10th Walters Prize 2021, please visit the Auckland Art Gallery website.