No 8 wire competition all go

Photo of artwork
The 2014 winning entry from Te Awamutu artists Dagmar and Nick Elliot – Rustic Hinaki. Photo: Stephen Barker


Artists from across New Zealand, from Kaipara in Northland  to Waikaia in Southland, have been named as finalists in this year’s  Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award – which will go ahead after a two-month delay caused by the Covid-19 crisis. 

Winners will be announced on 2 July and the finalists’ exhibition will run from 3 July to 3 August at ArtsPost in Hamilton.

The annual award challenges artists to create sculptures using No 8 wire and other agricultural materials. 

Waikato Museum manages the award, and director Cherie Meecham said it was fitting it could continue in spite of the immense challenges that still lie ahead and that all New Zealanders face together.

NZ National Fieldays Society President James Allen said there are extraordinary times. “We were determined to find a way to continue with this iconic exhibition which expresses our agricultural traditions and values in artform. Resilience is something the rural sector has had to embrace. We all need something uplifting in our lives over the next weeks and months, so I hope this award and exhibition will help to play its part. “

The award is sponsored by the Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, CEO Kelvyn Eglinton said community Foundations like Momentum Waikato are building regional endowment funds around the country.  “The Covid-19 crisis is prompting rural communities to look at long-term funding and impact investment strategies to improve their social resilience.”

Twenty-eight artworks by 27 artists have been selected for the exhibition that was originally planned to run from 24 April to 25 May at Hamilton’s ArtsPost.

Works by finalists from past years including Tim Elliot, John Mulholland, Ricks Terstappen, Akky van der Velde and Bev Goodwin have made it into this year’s selection.

“Not only have this year’s finalists been able to demonstrate the versatility of our most recognisable agricultural supply material, but also they have used it in ways that soar beyond the constraints imposed to make imaginative and creative statements,” said award judge, sculptor James Wright.

The overall winner will receive $5000 and the second and third place-getters will receive $800 and $300 respectively.

The 2020 finalists are:

Terry Haines, Te Koopuru, Kaipara, Northland

John Mulholland and Philipp Ripa, Warkworth, Auckland

Reginald Laurie, Kaukapakapa, Auckland

Jeff Thomson, Auckland

Tim Elliot, Auckland

Bev Goodwin, Auckland

Sophie Prendergast, Auckland

Jeffin Tharayil, Hamilton

Naomi Roche, Hamilton

Elwyn Stone, Hamilton

Tony Gray, Morrinsville, Waikato

Nigel Olesen, Morrinsville, Waikato

Leonaldo, Cambridge, Waikato

Toni van der Hulat, Te Awamutu, Waikato

Nalita Tei, Parawera, Waikato

Sarah-Kay Coulter, Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty

Anna Gedson, Oopootiki, Bay of Plenty

Jack Gower, Taupoo

Conor Jeory, Gisborne

Asaki Kajima, Napier

Sharleen Gamble, Napier

Ricks Terstappen, Hastings

Lee Woodman, Nelson

Bruce Stilwell, Richmond, Nelson

Akky van der Velde, Leeston, Canterbury

Annie Bourque, Waikaia, Southland

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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