Culture & Events

Art competition comes down to the wire

Guests and artists mingling at last year’s (2020) Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award ceremony at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop.

The 2021 Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award will be hotly contested, with New Zealand artists from as far afield as Dunedin, Rangiora, Hastings and Waiheke Island among this year’s finalists.

The annual award, hosted by Waikato Museum, partnered with Momentum Waikato Community Foundation and supported by the New Zealand National Fieldays Society, challenges artists to turn an iconic Kiwi farming product into art and stake their claim to a share of $8500 in prize money.

This year’s competition judge has shortlisted 24 artworks that demonstrate the versatility of Aotearoa’s most recognisable agricultural supply material. “I’m very impressed with the finalists’ commitment to reinventing an everyday farming product and turning it into some wonderfully compelling and imaginative artworks,” said renowned New Zealand sculptor Virginia King.

The streamlined online entry system for the Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award allowed artists to upload multiple images of their work and ensures the integrity of the award’s blind judging process by keeping the artists’ identities confidential.

The finalists’ works represent a cross-section of artistic skills and reveal inspirations that range from climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic to rural tales and farming life.

The winning artworks will be announced at an awards ceremony this week and the finalists’ exhibition will run from 23 April to 24 May at Hamilton’s ArtsPost Galleries & Shop.

Last year’s winner, Napier-based artist Asaki Kajima, created a Dali-inspired sculptural artwork entitled Space Cow. This year’s winner will receive $7000, with prizes of $1000 and $500 for the second and third placegetters respectively.

Further accolades include the President’s Choice Award, which is selected by the New Zealand National Fieldays Society President James Allen, and the People’s Choice Award, with public voting due to take place during the month-long exhibition at ArtsPost.

To find out more about the competition, visit waikatomuseum.co.nz/no8wire

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