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Creative gate wins People’s Choice Award

22 June 2023

Waikato Creative Stitchers with their winning work ‘The Gate’. Pictured from left: Katherine Fell, Sue Truman, Barbara Rosenberg, Josina Ellis, Liz Wilson, Sue Lynch, and Marianne Lock.

It’s a stitch-up! A hand-crafted collaborative work has won the People’s Choice Award in this year’s Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award. It was decided by votes cast at ArtsPost Galleries & Shop in Hamilton Kirikiriroa, where the exhibition is open daily until Sunday 2 July.

Entitled ‘The Gate’, the award-winning sculpture uses a variety of traditional and contemporary stitching techniques displayed on an adapted farm gate. It was made by Josina Ellis, Liz Wilson, Sue Truman, Barbara Rosenberg, Sue Lynch, Marianne Lock, and Katherine Fell, known collectively as Waikato Creative Stitchers. 

Speaking on their behalf, Liz Wilson said the group was absolutely thrilled to hear that their work had won the People's Choice Award.  

“This collaborative piece has been so much fun to work on, with each of us contributing slightly different stitch or textile techniques, but melding into a cohesive work.” 

“Thanks very much to the public who appreciated and voted for our piece. Also thanks to the organisers of the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award. We are very grateful to you all!” 

Made from upcycled tootara battens and the ubiquitous No.8 wire, the textile components of ‘The Gate’ were created from natural fibres such as wool, cotton, and jute. The artists’ statement accompanying the work describes it as a reflection of the farming practices of reuse and recycling utilised by communities both past and present. 

Now in its 26th year, the annual Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award competition 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 farming product No.8 wire into art and compete for a share of nearly $10,000 in prizes. 

The 2023 winner was announced at the exhibition opening on 25 May, with this year’s guest judge, sculptor Hannah Kidd, selecting the strikingly geometric sculpture ‘Connectivity’ by Hawke’s Bay artist Ricks Terstappen. 

Second prize was awarded to Jeff Thomson and Bev Goodwin for their piece ‘Cyclonic’ and third place went to John McKenzie for ‘641E9372’. New Zealand National Fieldays Society’s Board Chair Jenni Vernon selected ‘In Case of Emergency...Break Glass’ by Heather Olesen for the Chair’s Choice Award. 

The finalists' artworks are on display until Sunday 2 July at ArtsPost, located at 120 Victoria Street, Hamilton Kirikiriroa. Entry to the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award exhibition is free, and all works are available for purchase.