Artists from as far afield as Kaukapakapa north of Auckland and the deep south make up the finalists of the 2018 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award.
The award, managed by Waikato Museum, challenges artists to create sculptures using predominantly no.8 wire and other agricultural materials.
Culminating in a free exhibition from May 11 to June 11 at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop, the award is the perfect prelude to Fieldays at Mystery Creek on June 13-16.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society President Peter Carr is delighted with the regional diversity of entries this year.
“It is fitting to see a wide representation of finalists from around the country as we celebrate the 50th year of the Fieldays event,” he says.
Twenty-three finalists have been selected by award judge Andrew Clifford, Director of Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, including Fiona Clark, Tim Elliot, Akky van der Velde and Bev Goodwin, all finalists for the last three years.
Mr Clifford says: “No.8 wire means a lot of things to a lot of people, whether it’s an association with Aotearoa’s strong agricultural industry, our deep culture of innovation or our egalitarian approach to DIY. These perspectives are all evident in this year’s entries, as is the wide range of ways this humble material can be put to use. Works range from bright and flamboyant to poetic to politically motivated, but all defy assumptions as if to say – don’t fence me in!”
The winning artworks will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 10. The overall winner will receive $7,000, second and third place-getters will receive $1,000 and $500 respectively from the NZ National Fieldays Society Inc. Society President Peter Carr will award the Fieldays President’s Choice Award, and visitors to the exhibition can vote for the People’s Choice Award.
Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham is excited to see the works Mr Clifford has chosen.
“The challenge this award sets shouldn’t be underestimated,” she says. “One of the reasons no.8 wire has become part of our nation’s psyche is its robustness. Manipulating it into art that tells a story takes a lot of effort and skill.”
The 2018 finalists are:
Reginald Laurie – Kaukapakapa
Robyn Walton – Auckland
Sharon Watson – Auckland
Bev Goodwin – Auckland
Lloyd Rayner – Auckland
Sophie Prendergast – Auckland
Lang Ea – Auckland
Tim Elliot – Auckland
Monika Brunner – Hamilton
Jane Mortimer and Dave Sole – Hamilton
John Tonkin – Hamilton
Naomi Roche – Hamilton
Elwyn Stone – Hamilton
Sue Rhodes – Hamilton
David Pronger – Cambridge
Tony Gray – Morrinsville
Fiona Clark – Taranaki
Brian James Read - Napier
Sharleen Gamble - Napier
Ricks Terstappen – Hastings
Patricia Took-Stevens – Canterbury
Akky van der Velde – Canterbury
Annie Bourque – Southland