Splash® 2017 - Watercolour New Zealand's Annual Exhibition

Exhibition Season: October 14 – 29, 2017


SUPREME AWARD "Hope Rising" - Watercolour by Michael Barker


  • 1st: Sun After Rain, Haast by Bernadette Parsons
  • 2nd: Cityscape II – PO Square by Dianne Taylor
  • 3nd: Cityscape II – PO Square by Dianne Taylor


Winner of the Gordon Harris Award for Best Painting by a Junior Artist

"Snowy Mountain Ranges" by Jamie Lewis


Friday 13-th October 2017 - OPENING
October 14 – 29, 2017 - Splash 2017 Splash 2017 Exhibition Season.


Splash 2017 Sales
John, one of the Academy volunteers, who correctly predicted that we would sell over 50 paintings at last year’s Splash, was confident that, given the quality of the works in this year’s exhibition, we would sell around 70. So we were all disappointed when at the end of the exhibition we had sold only 38. Whether this was because the exhibition coincided with the aftermath of the election and uncertainty regarding the make-up of the next government is debatable. However, it seems that retail sales in general - not just the art market - have been flat recently, in Wellington at least.

Of the 38 paintings sold, 23 were priced at under $500. Only 3 paintings sold for prices of between $500 and $750. 12 paintings sold for over $900. These were generally larger works - half sheets or full sheets.
One marked difference from last year is that we sold more higher-priced paintings. Last year, we sold only one painting priced at over $1500. This year we sold three $1900 paintings, and two $2200 works.
The most popular subjects amongst the paintings that sold were Wellington scenes, followed by South Island landscapes, then paintings of flowers, portraits and figures, and English and European scenes.

As to the award winning paintings, the winner of the Supreme Award sold as did the winners of the awards for Most Innovative and Best Painting by a Junior. Only two of the five Merit Award winning paintings sold. Five of the top ten paintings in the People’s Choice Award did not find a buyer. It’s interesting that 14 of the 38 paintings sold got 5 votes or fewer in the People’s Choice (the winning painting got 104). So the popularity or the quality of a painting does not necessarily mean that it will sell. Buyers are a small subset of the visitors to an exhibition – fewer than 2% of them actually buy a painting.

Demonstration of watercolour painting
Watercolour NZ Splash 2017 exhibition at NZ Academy of Fine Arts Gallery

Sat 14 Oct

Sun 15 Oct

Sat 21 Oct

Sun 22 Oct

Mon 23 Oct

Sat 28 Oct

Sun 29 Oct

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm

1pm – 3pm
Bernadette Parsons
Alfred Memelink

Joy de Geus
Jacky Pearson

Phil Dickson
Robyn Eastgate-Manning

Kimbra Taylor
Vivian Manthell-French

Helen Wilson
John McDonnell

Peter Coates
Alfred Memelink

Sue Wild
Pavithra Devadatta

This year’s 'Splash' was a joint exhibition, held in conjunction with Ceramicus, an exhibition by the Wellington Potters’ Association.

Guest artists for this year’s Splash were Richard Bolton from Geraldine and Wellington artist Dianne Taylor.

Richard moved from England to Geraldine with his New Zealand born wife in 2004. Early in his painting career his work attracted the attention of publishers. Richard is the author of a number of books on watercolour technique as well as articles in such well known periodicals as The Artist, Leisure Art and Artists and Illustrators.

Dianne is a well known Wellington artist who won the Watercolour New Zealand Portrait Award in 2010 and the French Art Shop People’s Choice Award for her painting Le Café at last year’s Splash. We’re delighted that Dianne and Richard have agreed to be joint guest artists at this year’s exhibition.

There were 250 paintings to view including a wide variety of paintings featuring Wellington, NZ landscapes, flowers and abstracts, as well as an award winning display of ceramic art presented by Wellington Potters.

We are very appreciative of the generous awards from these sponsors. The Committee worked hard and would like to thanks all those members who gave their support in various roles.