The annual competition, partnered by Farmlands and managed by Waikato Museum, challenges artists to forge No.8 wire and other agricultural products into sculptural artworks.
Fences vs Walls was one of 28 finalists in the running for the major prize of $7,000, with the judge, art academic and sculpture expert Dr Robin Woodward, praising Godwin’s “down-to-Earth Kiwi-ness”.
“It tells the world where New Zealanders stand and what we are all about as a society,” says Dr Woodward. “We need No.8 wire for all sorts of things not least of all is a fence. But in New Zealand we don’t need a wall.”
Gaye Jurisich from Hamilton was the runner-up for her sculpture For Suzette, while Warkworth-based John Mulholland placed third for his work It’s a bloody lifesaver.
Dr Woodward says the exhibition is a reflection of what matters to New Zealand artists and communities.
“Some of the entrants in this year’s Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award might feel they are a world apart from such icons of New Zealand art as Colin McCahon and Ralph Hotere - but the themes that inform the work of major New Zealand artists, run deep. They resurface again here in many of the works in the exhibition.”
“Competitions such as this are important barometers of the health of our communities. They are indicators of what New Zealanders are thinking about as well as being an expression of creativity. What we see here in the finalists of the Fieldays 2017 No.8 Wire National Art Award is art that taps a deep well of creativity in New Zealanders.”
Once again, New Zealand National Fieldays Society President Peter Carr was very impressed with the high calibre of artworks and pleased to see artists from previous years returning.
This year’s President’s Choice Award has gone to Cambridge artist Terry Pluck with his artwork Size No.8 Gumboots.
“Synonymous with farming and the Society’s founding objective, the piece brings town and country together,” says Carr.
The No.8 Wire National Art Award is the first of this year’s Fieldays festivities, with the exhibition featuring all 28 finalists running at Hamilton’s ArtsPost until 22 May. ArtsPost is open 10am to 5pm daily and entry is free.
Selected artworks will also be on display at Fieldays from 14 to 17 June at Mystery Creek.