Fieldays is going virtual this year — will it be a flop? Mark Daniel looks into the controversial event.
His entry, Stone Age Eight Gauge, took out the top spot at the award ceremony, partnered by Waikato Museum and held at ArtsPost.
The judge, noted New Zealand sculptor Brett Graham, awarded Pearce's work the $7000 prize, saying the work makes a strong statement, challenging the No.8 wire mentality by saying innovation is a global phenomenon.
Cherise Thomson, of Auckland, came second for her entry Korowai, referencing a Maori cloak; and Jenta Griffin, of Warkworth, won third prize for his sculpted figure Pater Prime.
The President's Choice Award was won by Auckland artist Becca Bolscher for Tui's Nest.
"It's evident many of these artists have referenced their farming backgrounds. They have entered this contest undaunted by this being a national art award and in the true spirit of Kiwi ingenuity taken iconic agricultural materials and turned them into works of art," says Brett Graham.
Launched by the NZ National Fieldays Society in 1997, the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award has been shown at various venues in Waikato, including Waikato Museum (1997-1999), Te Awamutu Museum (2003-2004) and Lake Taupo Museum (2005). Since 2006 the award has been administered by Waikato Museum and shown at ArtsPost to coincide with the opening of Fieldays.
Peter Nation, NZ National Fieldays Society chief executive, says the award is a highlight in the buildup to Fieldays and its longevity is testament to the commitment of its partners.
"The 19th year of this event has heralded a record number of entries, and we're very proud of this. Over the years we've seen a huge amount of creativity around the Kiwi stalwart No.8 wire and each year we look forward to the creations we'll see.
"The longevity of the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award is a testament to the commitment by the NZ National Fieldays Society, Waikato Museum and the art community to incorporate New Zealand's rural culture into the urban scene. Congratulations to all entrants, finalists and winners."
The finalists' work will be exhibited at ArtsPost Galleries and Shop at 120 Victoria Street, Hamilton June 27. Entry is free.