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Finalists named for Attitude Awards

6 October 2010 The three finalists in the artistic achievement category of this year's Attitude Awards have been named: Andrew Blythe, Celeste Strewe and Susan King.

The awards, which have grown from the television series “Attitude”, honour the outstanding achievements of New Zealanders living withdisabilities. The winners will be announced at Eden Park’s ASB Lounge in Auckland on December 1.

Andrew Blythe

Sandringham artist Andrew Blythe is currently working towards an exhibition next year at the Satellite Gallery in Newton.

He is a full-time, self-taught artist with mental illness.  He first came to public notice in 2008 when a New Zealand art dealer was offered a stall at the New York Outsider Art Fair, a showcase for artists with no formal training. The dealer selected Andrew’s work and he gained international recognition. He has since had his art on display at a gallery in Paris.

Celeste Strewe

Karekare resident Celeste Strewe is a trained makeup and special effects artist.  She is currently working on the American TV series Spartacus as well as the New Zealand feature film Journey of the Story.

Born with severe hearing loss, Celeste realised her talent in 2007 when she entered the Body Art Awards with no experience. She was runner-up in her category and won the award for best emerging artist.

Susan King

Northcote’s Susan King is a full-time artist and has recently had her work exhibited at the High Seas Gallery in Newton as well as Sydney earlier this year.

A documentary is being made about her by award-winning documentary maker Dan Salmon.

Susan, who is autistic, has not spoken since she was four years old. Growing up, she expressed herself through drawing, but in 1990 she stopped completely following extreme depression and intensifying obsessive compulsive disorders.
 
It wasn’t until 2008 when Susan’s work started to be seen, and with support from her family, that she was ready to start drawing again. She has since completed more than 700 drawings and is known locally and internationally through her website and Facebook page.

Artistic achievement is one of several categories in the Attitude Awards. Others include sport, courage in sport, youth, spirit of attitude, employer, and the ACC Supreme Award.

 
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