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Connectivity wins the 2023 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award

26 May 2023

Image caption: The winning work “Connectivity” by Ricks Terstappen pictured with Liz Cotton, Director Museum and Arts at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, and Hannah Kidd, judge of the 2023 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award.

Artist Ricks Terstappen from Hawke’s Bay has won the top prize in this year’s Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award for his artwork “Connectivity”. The awards ceremony was held last night at ArtsPost Galleries & Shop in Hamilton Kirikiriroa.

“This work is a powerful metaphor for rural communities” says 2023 guest judge, sculptor Hannah Kidd. “Neighbours can be quite some physical distance apart but connected in ways that support each other. Therefore, it’s these connection points that give the structure its dynamic strength.”

Reflecting on her experience as this year’s judge, Kidd said “It was amazing to see these sculptures in person in the gallery, and each of the artworks spoke to me. It was a hard decision to choose just three winners from the finalists. Congratulations to you all.”

The annual competition, now in its 26th year, is hosted by Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and supported by the New Zealand National Fieldays Society (NZNFS). Artists are challenged to transform the iconic Kiwi farming product No.8 wire into art and compete for a share of nearly $10,000 in prizes.

Since its inception in 1997, this annual open call for artists and creatives from across Aotearoa has provided a platform for reinventing an everyday farming product into art. The Awards also play a crucial role in fostering a stronger connection between urban and rural communities.

Newly appointed New Zealand National Fieldays Society Chair Jenni Vernon selected “In Case of Emergency...Break Glass” by Healther Olesen for the Chair’s Choice Award.

Delighted to have the opportunity to select this category winner for the first time, Jenni was impressed to see how Heather had fashioned such an exquisite piece from the product she sees daily around her rual property on the Raglan Coast.  

“This art competition and exhibition really is phenomenal and showcases Kiwi ingenuity at its finest. The talent of these artists, to fashion these works from good old No.8 wire, a staple of New Zealand farms, is just incredible” says Vernon. “The Society champions innovation, as it’s one of our strategic pillars and these works are so innovative.”

Second prize was awarded to Jeff Thomson and Bev Goodwin for their piece “Cyclonic” and third place went to John McKenzie for “641E9372”.

The finalists' artworks will be on display until Sunday 2 July at ArtsPost, located at 120 Victoria Street, Hamilton Kirikiriroa. Entry to the exhibition is free, and all works are available for purchase.

Judge and sculptor Hannah Kidd will be giving a floor talk in the gallery at 10.30am on Friday, 26 May, sharing her insights about the prize-winning artworks.

For more information about the competition, please visit waikatomuseum.co.nz/no8wire

The 2023 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award winners are:

First prize

  • “Connectivity” by Ricks Terstappen, Hawke's Bay

Second prize

  • “Cyclonic” by Jeff Thomson and Bev Goodwin, Helensville

Third prize

  • “641E9372” by John McKenzie, Te Aroha

Chair’s Choice award

  • “In Case of Emergency...Break Glass” by Heather Olesen, Morrinsville

 

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