Sixteen artists from across New Zealand have been named as finalists for the Fieldays No 8 Wire National Art Award, the annual competition that challenges Kiwi creatives to transform the iconic agricultural product into inspiring art.
Hosted by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and supported by the NZ National Fieldays Society, the award is now in its 26th year and is recognised as a celebration of true ingenuity.
The artworks are chosen via a blind-judging process that keeps entrant identities confidential from the 2023 judge, sculptor Hannah Kidd (Ngāti Toa). Based in Methven, Kidd is renowned for her large-scale constructions made of welded steel, which have been exhibited around the world.
“The nature of No 8 wire lends itself to be formed from its original purpose into an array of unique and imaginative constructs. The entries in this year’s competition have not disappointed,” Kidd said.
“Judging from images online is a good start, but I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing the finalist works in real life.”
Chair of the NZ National Fieldays Society Jenni Vernon said she is delighted to see the Fieldays No 8 Wire National Art Award back as part of the lead-up to the Fieldays in June.
“Recognising and rewarding New Zealand creativity is important. Not only is the artwork inspiring but the stories behind the completed pieces are so individual. I am really looking forward to be able to make a Chairman’s Choice.”
The winner of the Fieldays No 8 Wire National Art Award will receive a cash prize of $7000. Prizes of $1000 and $500 are presented for the second and third place winners respectively. Further prizes are also awarded for People’s Choice and Chairman’s Choice.
The 16 finalist works will be available to view and purchase in a month-long exhibition at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop, opening this year on Friday, May 26.
The 2023 finalists for the Fieldays No 8 Wire National Art Award are: Dagmar Elliott; Teuila Fatupaito; Helen Fuller; Tony Gray; Jevon Howe; Asaki Kajima; John McKenzie; Jane Mortimer and Dave Sole; Heather Olesen; Susan Rhodes; Ricks Terstappen (two works); Tira; Jeff Thomson and Bev Goodwin; Dinah and Mark Walker; Yasmin Yussof; and Waikato Creative Stitchers (Josina Ellis, Liz Wilson, Sue Truman, Barbara Rosenberg, Sue Lynch, Marianne Lock, Katherine Fell).
Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on May 25.