From 1912 to 1952, a parallel and contemporary Art Competition was held during the Olympic Games. It was divided into five categories: painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music. This competition, in which artists of the various disciplines competed, was conceived in 1906 by Baron de Coubertin. He wanted men to be educated in both mind and body, and competing in sport rather than war. One of his other desires was to combine both art and sport, and he succeeded in including artistic competition in the Olympic Games.

In 2021, the year of the Covid-postponed Games of the XXXII Olympiad, Salvatore and Francesco Saverio Russo initiated an “Art Olympic Prize” for painters, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers and video artists. Their aim was to inspire the reinstatement of artistic competitions as future Olympic events. I was pleased to be selected as an awardee of this prize in November 2021. The catalogue of works of the Art Olympic Prize and the accompanying “Art International Contemporary” magazine for the November/December 2021 issue included Mother Nature Speaks #5, 2021, from my Mother Nature series.

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Mother Nature Speaks #5, 2021,
acrylic on board.
90cm(H) x 120cm(W)

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The 4th edition of the International Mini Print Cantabria here attracted 278 international artists who submitted 683 works with the theme “The Sea and the Lighthouse”, which were exhibited in the Faro Cabo Mayor Art Center, Santander (Cantabria, Spain). The Award is open to all the printmaking disciplines, and I submitted two works inspired by a walk to a local lighthouse at Tuhawaiki (Jack’s) Point near Timaru, New Zealand. These have now become part of the permanent collection of the Santander Port Authority Art Fund, which is deposited for its conservation and exhibition at the Faro Cabo Mayor Art Center.

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Look to the Light 1 , 2021,
20cm(H) x 20cm(W)

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Look to the Light 2 , 2021,
20cm(H) x 20cm(W)

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During 2021 the White Bear Center for the Arts (White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA) decided for the second year to hold an online Plein Air Competition, “Into Nature”, with the intent of supporting and connecting artists during the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition was open to international artists. I was delighted to have my painting Trees Under Threat #2 selected as one of the finalist entries, from among 217 works submitted by 98 artists from around the world. The online opening on 12 August 2021, with commentary from the three distinguished judges Andy Evansen, Marc Hanson, and Judy Palermo, and views of all the finalist works, was streamed on YouTube here and the full illustrated catalogue made available for download here.

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Trees Under Threat 2 , 2021,
acrylic on card.
20.5cm(H) x 51cm(W)

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Drs Salvatore and Francesco Saverio Russo included me in their 2021 issue of “50 Artists To Invest In”, a guide to the works of selected international contemporary artists. My featured work was Life-tree.

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Life-tree: Lost Limbs, 2020,
walnut stain,
acrylic on board,
120cm (H) x 120cm (W)

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I am deeply honoured to have received this award from Drs Salvatore Russo and Francesco Saverio Russo (Italy) who have supported me in the expression of my own voice. The award recognises that "contemporary art needs artists capable of witnessing, each with their own language, the true value of art." The catalogue and the May/June 2021 issue of  "Art International Contemporary Magazine" that accompanied the award featured Life-lines #20, from my ‘Life-lines’ series of paintings (2020).

001 Cordeaux Ambassador of Art 2021

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Life-lines #20, 2020,
walnut stain,
blackboard paint,
acrylic on board,
90cm (H) x 120cm (W)

I was invited to submit a work to be associated with the March/April 2021 issue of the "Art International Contemporary Magazine", which celebrated the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri and the artists of the past who portrayed him. A prize was awarded to participants by Drs Francesco Saverio Russo and Salvatore Russo. The work I submitted was my Self Portrait in Lockdown (2020), and was described by Salvatore Russo as “truly extraordinary”.

002 Cordeaux Dante Alighieri International Prize

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Self-Portrait in Lockdown, 2020,
ink on card,
40.3cm (H) x 27.3cm (W)

I was pleased to be selected by Drs Salvatore and Francesco Saverio Russo for their “David – Michelangelo International Award”, in association with the January/February 2021 issue of "Art International Contemporary Magazine". The award was designed to recognize artistic merit in contemporary art, and showcased my painting The End is Nigh, from my 2020 ‘Life-tree’ series.

002 Cordeaux Dante Alighieri International Prize

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Life-tree: The End is Nigh, 2020,
walnut stain,
acrylic on board,
120cm (H) x 120cm (W)

I was invited to exhibit in a multicultural group exhibition at the Linwood Arts & Eastside Gallery, Christchurch, in February 2021. The theme of the show was “Pan”, meaning all-inclusive, uniting, or collective. The root of the word (“pan”) is found in many forms (e.g. a cooking container, severe criticism, a Greek god), and “pan-pan”, the exhibition title, is an international distress signal, of less urgency than a mayday signal. However, artists were free to interpret “pan” in any way or medium.

My four works were from my storm-based 2020 series “Pandemonium” – numbers 1, 2, 4 and 7.

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During the period of nation-wide lock-down in New Zealand (March-April 2020) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Aigantighe Art Gallery invited the South Canterbury community to submit self-portraits as a snapshot of the unprecedented times. These could be conventional painted or drawn works, or “selfies” taken on a phone camera. The works could be emailed or posted on the gallery’s Facebook or Instagram pages, and were to be collated and exhibited in an exhibition when the gallery was able to re-open. The response from the community was amazing, and the results were eventually printed on large banners and displayed in the gallery’s Foyer space in late November 2020. My pen and ink Self Portrait In Lockdown was also featured on the large advertising banner for the exhibition.

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(Photo by Roselyn Fauth)

I was again asked to be a guest artist for the Annual Exhibition of the South Canterbury Pottery Group, held at the Aigantighe Art Gallery. It was a delight to exhibit with this group, and the aptly-named Top of the Pots became the first major exhibition for the gallery after lockdown forced its closure for several months. I was able to show several paintings from my new “Life-lines” series, including the study works as a set, as well as an earlier painting The Three Graces from my 2018-19 “Woman” series.

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I was selected for this prize by Drs Salvatore and Francesco Russo (Rome), awarded to "a small number of artists who have distinguished themselves in the current year". As part of this award, my painting Life-lines #8 was published in the July-August 2020 issue of "Art International Contemporary Magazine", and was screened in a video exhibition (with accompanying catalogue) at the Sciortino Museum in Monreale, Sicily, 12-18 September 2020, as part of The Norman Biennial of Contemporary Art.

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I was invited to submit a work (Giotto’s Circle 2019) inspired by the Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone, for a competition commemorating Giotto’s “perfect circle”. This competition was associated with the Giotto International Prize which I received in November 2019. For this award I submitted my painting Cut #29 - the penultimate painting in my “Woman” 2019 series, and which comprises 6 canvases in the form of a large cross.

Both works were published in Art International Contemporary, Issue #6, November-December 2019.

Giotto’s Circle 2019 is an addition to my “Recycled” series, using brick dust from Venice with marker pen enhancing the “perfect circles” indented on the base of a soft-drink packaging box.

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Giotto's Circle, 2019,
Venetian brick debris,
marker pen, recycled packaging,
34cm (H) x 41cm (W)

  049 Cordeaux Giotto International Prize 2019

I was asked to be one of two guest artists, with two guest potters, whose works complemented the annual exhibition of the South Canterbury Pottery Group. I chose five works from my Recycled series, inspired by my April arts residency in Venice: Recycled # 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24. Two of these works incorporated brick debris from Venetian buildings, which seemed appropriate for an exhibition featuring ceramics.

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I was delighted to be selected as one of 79 finalists from about 500 entries in this year’s prestigious Parkin Drawing Prize. The successful work was Recycled #21, from my series inspired by the arts residency in Venice during April 2019.

Founded by arts patron, businessman and philanthropist Chris Parkin, the national drawing prize is now into its seventh year and has grown into a well-recognised competition not to be missed in the New Zealand arts scene. The selected works were exhibited at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, 6 August–8 September 2019.

 “Over the years I’ve learned that, at least within the artistic community, the sort of whole boundary of what we would term drawing is actually much wider than I would have probably originally thought. It’s what makes this award so unique. Every year I see innovation and difference, and every year there's something new. I truly am excited to see what we have in store for 2019,” said Chris Parkin.


I was happy to receive this award and to have my painting Cut #18 (“Woman” series 2019) published in Art International Contemporary, Issue #4, July/August 2019 and in the catalogue for the exhibition.

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I was selected for this international prize by Salvatore and Francesco Russo (Rome), awarded to "a small number of artists who have distinguished themselves in the current year". The award included publication of my painting Cut #17 (“Woman” series 2019) in Art International Contemporary, Issue #3, May/June 2019, and the catalogue for the award.057_Cordeaux_Artist-of-the-Year-2019-.jpg

I was accepted as one of 10 artists from Canada, France, New Zealand and the USA to take part in a month-long residency in Venice. Organised by Art& Soul International, it was a fantastic opportunity to absorb the art, architecture and ambience of this wonderful city, and to create art inspired by the experience. Included in the residency was a 3 week group exhibition, Giallo [Yellow], at Imagina Gallery and Café. The two works I exhibited were Cut #1 and Cut #2 from my “Woman” series, the first of which featured on Imagina’s website advertising the exhibition.

I was based in Castello, a down-to-earth residential area near the Arsenale and the various sites of the Venice Biennale exhibitions. Having visited Venice a couple of times previously, it was great to experience life as a local, rather than a short-term tourist.  Local shop-keepers and residents alike were friendly and welcoming, and I felt part of a warm community. 

The guided excursions, led by artist John Rawlings of Art&Soul International, took us all over Venice, on foot or by vaporetto.  With time to look further afield than the splendours of St Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace, I grew to appreciate the ingenuity and love by which Venetians continue to keep their crumbling but magical city afloat.  Everything is patched up a million times over, but somehow this adds to the beauty of this old lady, Venice. Even the graffiti - which many see as a scourge - seem to be added with love, on the whole. In fact, some of it - hearts and kisses, and comments such as "Buon giorno, bell'anima" (good morning, beautiful soul) - inspired me to create a range of small paintings using found materials. These were preparatory works for a series of larger paintings entitled “Recycled”, created on my return to New Zealand.


On 7 December 2018, I was awarded the Caravaggio Prize in Milan. This included the publication of two paintings (Cut # 6 and Cut #7, Woman series 2018) in Art International Contemporary magazine, Nov-Dec 2018.

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