No8 wire award modifies rule

The 2017 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award winner Jill Godwin with her work The No.8 Wire Lettering System: Fences vs Walls.

Fieldays-goers can this year expect to see more agricultural products used in entries to the No.8 Wire National Art Award, with the competition rules being slightly modified for 2018.

The annual award, managed by Waikato Museum and partnered by Farmlands Co-operative, invokes the classic Kiwi DIY attitude in the creation of sculptural artworks made from predominantly No.8 wire along with other agricultural products.

And in previous years the entry criteria called for artworks entered to feature a minimum 50 per cent No.8 wire.

But this year – to reflect the way the future of farming is changing – the awards will now allow artists to use a wider range of agricultural products, with the dominant visual and structural feature of the artwork to be No.8 wire or wire of a similar gauge.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says the removal of the 50 per cent No.8 wire condition expands what artists are now able to create with the iconic farm product.

“The variety and intricacy of what can be created through the manipulation of No.8 wire never ceases to amaze me,” says Cherie. “Waikato Museum and ArtsPost are excited to be part of Fieldays’ milestone celebration.”

The award culminates in a month-long exhibition at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop from May 11 to June 11, and selected finalists will also be invited to have their work displayed at Fieldays, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018.

The winner receives $7000, with prizes of $1000 and $500 for the second and third place-getters, respectively.

Winner of the President’s choice will receive a $100 ArtsPost voucher and people’s choice will be gifted $100.

This year’s judge is gallery director and art writer Andrew Clifford. Andrew is the inaugural director of Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, Auckland, and was previously curator at the University of Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery.

He’s been a judge for the Wallace Art Awards, a juror for the Walters Prize, and a selector for the Arts Foundation Awards.

New Zealand National Fieldays Society president Peter Carr says they are delighted to have Andrew Clifford judging the No.8 Wire National Art Award as part of the 50th Fieldays event.

“Andrew’s excellent work as the initiating director at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery is well respected and his appointment is fitting in the Society’s very special anniversary year,” says Peter. “We very much look forward to both the overall entries and the announcement of the award winners.”

Entries for the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award close on April 13 at 1pm. Finalists will be notified for April 16 and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 10.

For competition criteria and entry forms, see:


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