OPINION: Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor was fortunate enough to be out of the country when his 'Fit for a Better World Progress Update 2021' was released at Fieldays.
The competition to create a wearable art piece from materials found on the farm is a staple on the Fieldays timetable and this year’s judges will demand a higher standard from Ag Art Wear entrants than ever before.
“We’re definitely excited to have Robyn and Adrian on board as judges this year,” says Wai Taimai, Fieldays Ag Art Wear coordinator.
“With the reputations of both Robyn and Adrian as highly-creative and bold artists, 2015’s Ag Art Wear entrants will need to step up their game this year. We’re looking forward to meticulously-created and unconventional farm-inspired garments from our entrants.”
Ooby Ryn, the brain child of Cambridge-based designer Robyn Brooks, debuted eight years ago as a Verge Breakthrough Designer at Air New Zealand Fashion Week. The concept store opened in late 2006 and now stocks New Zealand and Australian designer brands.
“I’m really looking forward to judging Ag Art Wear at Fieldays this year,” says Brooks. “It’s always interesting to see what concepts the entrants come up with and I can’t wait to see what original materials will be used this year.”
“In the past, we’ve seen a lot of the same thing so I’m hoping entrants have really thought outside the square to come up with some really creative and original ideas.”
Brooks grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Onewhero and competed in top-level show jumping. She studied a Bachelor of Media Arts at the University of Waikato and upon completion, moved onto her next venture in fashion.
Alongside the Ooby Ryn ready-to-wear range, Brooks has designed a selection of highly sought after-race wear garments.
Renowned sculptor Adrian Worsley is the second judge on the Ag Art Wear panel. Worsley designs and constructs unique sculptures from recycling scrap metal, tools, utensils and farm implements sourced locally and around New Zealand.
“I think competitions can really bring out the best in people and provide a great opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Originality, imagination and the true ‘love of art’ is what I am really looking forward to seeing in the entries this year," says Worsley
Originally a fitter welder who moved into stainless steel and taught himself woodworking, Worsley discovered a passion for creating with recycled materials. Starting with furniture and cabinetry in houses, restaurants, cafes and vineyards, Worsley’s focus has moved on to sculpture.
Opening his own gallery in Te Aroha, and developing his junkyard of raw materials into a treasure trove of delight, which displays as an artwork in its own right, Worsley now spends all his time there consumed in sculpting his works of art.
Entries to the Ag Art Wear competition close 8 May 2015. Entrants will display their designs in twice-daily shows during Fieldays, 10 – 13 June, in the popular Fieldays Theatre at 11am and 2pm.