Artist Rebecca Rose has taken out the major prize in the 2015 No.8 Wire National Art Award with her sculpture, Eye Sight at the awards ceremony, partnered by Waikato Museum and held at ArtsPost Galleries & Shop.
The $8000 prize was awarded at the opening ceremony last night for its “unmistakably strong physical presence and technical accomplishment”, says this year’s judge, Tony Nichols.
Te Awamutu-based and 2014 joint winner Dagmar Elliot placed second for her entry, Rusty Jandals – Gone for a Swim, Akky van der Velde from Leeston was placed third for Fenced In & Out, and President’s Choice went to Katrina Jury of Hamilton for Our Nations Pride.
The winners and most successful artworks are not simply documentaries depicting the physical, functional or conceptual, nor simply the best technically, says Nichols.
“They have been able to transcend into something greater without forgetting their humble origin. This marriage of idea and object engages with us and may make us think, ask us to question, take us on a journey, or even leave us with a sense of wonder.”
The Award offers a unique opportunity to examine the works of many individual artistic visions bound together by one parameter exploring the physical, functional and conceptual attributes offered by No.8 wire.
Nichols says Rose’s Eye Sight was “impossible to look past”.
“The strong form made from No.8 traces the many individual twisting journeys which end up being interconnected bound together to form a perfect whole.”
Dagmar Elliot, who won last year’s competition with her son, Nick, this year entered her “humble and uncomplicated but beautifully crafted” artwork, Rusty Jandals – Gone for a Swim.
“Being simultaneously jandals and No.8 wire, the work is transformed beyond simply being a rendition of a Kiwi icon,” says Nichols. “An important strength of this work is that it is a group of jandals – the inclusion of family a sensitive touch.”
Third place, Fenced In & Out, asks the question, ‘have you ever thought of the ghosts of cows?’
“Van der Velde celebrates past generations and continual replacement of individuals within herds without being morbid,” says Nichols. “The work explodes like a pyrotechnic display with cow horns supported by No.8 wire, reminding us that No.8 exists in essence as a support to farming activities.”
Launched by the NZ National Fieldays Society in 1997, the Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award has been shown at various venues in the greater 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 Galleries & Shop to coincide with the opening of the annual Fieldays event.
Jon Calder, NZ National Fieldays Society CEO, says he is very proud of the Society’s longstanding relationship Waikato Museum and the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award was a highlight in the build up to Fieldays.
“The No.8 Wire National Art Award prize giving ceremony, including the announcement of the Fieldays Society President’s Choice award, is the first major event of the Fieldays season and we encourage all Fieldays visitors to take in the free exhibition held at ArtsPost during Fieldays and up to 29 June.”
The finalists’ work will be exhibited at ArtsPost from Friday 5 June until Monday 29 June, 2015. Entry is free. For more information visit www.fieldays.co.nz.