Gisborne women finalists in Arte Laguna Prize

A work from Gisborne duo, florist Holly Tong and photographer Runa Kuru’s second collection of striking images of flowers has made the finals in the Venice-based Arte Laguna Prize. 'Volucris' is one of 115 artworks from around the world to make the contemporary art competition’s finals. Picture supplied
Volucris (Latin for flying, or winged creature). The striking image is a finalist in the Venice-based, international art competition, the Arte Laguna Prize.
Picture by Runa Kuru Kristjonsdottir and Holly Tong

A PHOTOGRAPH of a tangle of flowers merging with darkness has taken two Gisborne women to the finals of Venice-based, international art competition, the Arte Laguna Prize.

“We are beyond ecstatic,” said Iceland-born photographer Runa Kuru and florist Holly Tong.

“We will both travel to Venice for the exhibition opening on March 17. We can’t wait.”

Held at Arsenale de Venezia, the Arte Laguna Prize is dedicated to contemporary art. Categories are painting, sculpture and installation, video art, performance, virtual art and photographic art.

The pair’s large-scale image Volucris (flying creature) features living and fading flowers set on a black background.

Volucris is one of 115 works from around the world that “give us a glimpse into the current state of international contemporary art”, says the Arte Laguna Prize website.

The photograph is one of 10 works that are part of the women’s second collection. It is the only piece from that collection that has been seen publicly.

First exhibition

They exhibited their first collection of photographs of flower arrangements in 2017 at Gisborne’s Flagship Eatery.

“The first collection was our starting point. The six photographs were of flower arrangements for weddings. We hoped to sell a few just to cover costs.”

With options of four sizes for each picture and a limited edition print run of five prints each, they sold several signed and numbered prints.

They publicised their work through Instagram, Facebook and email. New Zealand House and Garden featured their work in an October issue.

“Then we got people emailing us. Then Australian Country magazine contacted us and a few interior design bloggers wrote about us.”

Online US magazine Lonny ran an Instagram feature about their work and they featured in Australian magazine Home Beautiful. Most of their clients have come from Australia.

When the duo took part in a marketing workshop, they were motivated to think big.

“The workshop made us realise we didn’t have a strong plan," Holly Tong said.

"It made us think more about planning. We got a kick up the butt with the course. That’s when we looked into entering international art awards.”

The Arte Laguna Prize was the first (and so far only) competition to which they have submitted work.

Now they have been selected for the competition final, they can't wait to be on their way to Venice for the exhibition opening on March 17.

A PHOTOGRAPH of a tangle of flowers merging with darkness has taken two Gisborne women to the finals of Venice-based, international art competition, the Arte Laguna Prize.

“We are beyond ecstatic,” said Iceland-born photographer Runa Kuru and florist Holly Tong.

“We will both travel to Venice for the exhibition opening on March 17. We can’t wait.”

Held at Arsenale de Venezia, the Arte Laguna Prize is dedicated to contemporary art. Categories are painting, sculpture and installation, video art, performance, virtual art and photographic art.

The pair’s large-scale image Volucris (flying creature) features living and fading flowers set on a black background.

Volucris is one of 115 works from around the world that “give us a glimpse into the current state of international contemporary art”, says the Arte Laguna Prize website.

The photograph is one of 10 works that are part of the women’s second collection. It is the only piece from that collection that has been seen publicly.

First exhibition

They exhibited their first collection of photographs of flower arrangements in 2017 at Gisborne’s Flagship Eatery.

“The first collection was our starting point. The six photographs were of flower arrangements for weddings. We hoped to sell a few just to cover costs.”

With options of four sizes for each picture and a limited edition print run of five prints each, they sold several signed and numbered prints.

They publicised their work through Instagram, Facebook and email. New Zealand House and Garden featured their work in an October issue.

“Then we got people emailing us. Then Australian Country magazine contacted us and a few interior design bloggers wrote about us.”

Online US magazine Lonny ran an Instagram feature about their work and they featured in Australian magazine Home Beautiful. Most of their clients have come from Australia.

When the duo took part in a marketing workshop, they were motivated to think big.

“The workshop made us realise we didn’t have a strong plan," Holly Tong said.

"It made us think more about planning. We got a kick up the butt with the course. That’s when we looked into entering international art awards.”

The Arte Laguna Prize was the first (and so far only) competition to which they have submitted work.

Now they have been selected for the competition final, they can't wait to be on their way to Venice for the exhibition opening on March 17.

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Monique G - 3 months ago
Gorgeous, reminisces of an old world painting

Wendy Bennett - 22 days ago
Any art work for sale please?

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