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Entries open for Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award

Entries open for Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award

Artists, inventors and D.I.Y enthusiasts have the chance to get creative and stake their claim to a share of the $8500 of prize money in the 2019 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award, with entries now open.

The annual award, managed by Waikato Museum and partnered by rural supplies co-operative Farmlands, celebrates the value of an iconic Kiwi agricultural product by encouraging entrants to create a sculptural artwork made predominantly from No.8 wire, along with other agricultural elements.

Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham says No.8 wire poses a particular challenge for sculpture, and its place in Kiwi culture should be reflected in the entries.

“No.8 wire is hardy and not easily manipulated,” she says. “Creating art from such a material requires vision, planning, skill, and patience. It is challenging but offers unique rewards.”

New Zealand National Fieldays Society president Peter Carr says the award brings awareness and appreciation to an innovative piece of agricultural history.

“It’s fantastic to see what people are able to create out of the iconic No.8 wire and the brilliant stories that go along with each piece,” says Mr Carr.

“This award encourages talent and creativity turning a simple agricultural product into a thought-provoking piece of art that tells a great story.”

To maintain the competition’s agricultural roots, entrants are required to rank the materials used and list the types or gauges of wire used in their work, to ensure only those that are predominantly No.8 wire are chosen.

This year’s judge is Associate Professor Linda Tyler who has taught art history at Canterbury, Victoria, Waikato and Auckland universities, and at Unitec and Otago Polytechnic. Ms Tyler has also been an art curator at Waikato Museum, the Hocken Library, and Gus Fisher Gallery and is now convenor of Museums and Cultural Heritage at the University of Auckland.

The finalists are selected by viewing photos of the work and artists’ statements on a digital judging platform, with the entrants’ identities kept confidential.

The winner receives $7000, with prizes of $1000 and $500 for the second and third placegetters respectively and further prizes awarded for People’s Choice and President’s Choice.

The award culminates in a month-long exhibition at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop, and selected finalists could also be invited to have their work displayed at Fieldays.

Entries close 1pm, Friday 29 March. The exhibitiion runs from 11 May to June 9 at ArtsPost, 120 Victoria St, Hamilton. 

To read the competition criteria and access the entry form, go to

Image: Akky van der Velde, 2018 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award winner, with her work Outside the Square.

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