A rurally-appropriate sculpture by Te Aroha scrap metal artist Adrian Worsley will pull them in at this year's GrainCorp Feeds stand at National Fieldays.

The work — valued at around $7500 — draws on Adrian's rustic "number 8 wire" approach. It has been crafted from a marriage of discarded bits and pieces joined as one to tell a different story — in this instance, the increasing popularity of molasses as a dairy feed supplement.

The sculpture's plump belly is a gleaming blue old 44-gallon drum with a curved door cut into it.

Welded on top is an old car tyre rim turned sink, with the pump from another drum standing proud to one side. A set of sink taps sit alongside, and the sculpture straddles an old sack trolley made almost beautiful through the use of old timber power poles as cross arms.


Topping it off is a disused manhole cover from a Servex gas station.

Not only does it look weirdly attractive, but the sculpture's mismatched parts are robustly functional. GrainCorp plans to have molasses pumped up from its belly to an outlet pipe overhanging the sink, giving onlookers an opportunity not only to see the molasses flow, but also to taste it should they wish to.

So where do the taps fit in?

According to Adrian, those belong to the sculpture's post-Fieldays afterlife.

"Whoever wins the sculpture will be able to use it at home or at work, perhaps in their man or woman-cave," he says.

"It can be plumbed in to the water supply anywhere and used as a working sink."

GrainCorp marketing manager Angela Ryan said once Fieldays closes, the sculpture will go to the winner of a draw comprising the names of those who sign a feed contract with the company.

Adrian was commissioned to do its 2018 Fieldays centrepiece after they heard about his scrap metal art — they felt sure he would find a unique way to impart the molasses message.


"GrainCorp has only this year started importing molasses directly and delivering it nationwide to farmers. Our site this year is primarily to showcase the changes around molasses and promote its benefits as a supplementary feed. It will also look at the changes to the industry with regards to the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI), and how we plan to proactively partner with our clients to help manage their FEI this season."

GrainCorp's brief to Adrian was simple — to come up a sculpture that would illustrate those changes in a fun and interactive way.

Its genius is typical of his award-winning style. His love of crafting something useful or beautiful out of scraps goes back years, when he would plunder bits and pieces from his dad's basement to make up and repair all sorts of things.

After leaving school, he went farming then did engineering before setting himself up in a business where his blended steel and timber craftwork became popular both in construction and design.

He spent eight years working in Queenstown, then elected for 'lifestyle over profit' and decided to turn his occupation into an art form. Never one to follow the strictures imposed by society, the self-taught artist started making artwork for cafes and bars.

Over the past two to three years, commissions have become the bulk of his work in Te Aroha.

Adrian's largest work is a 2.8m tall, 1.9 tonne bull, commissioned by Taylor Corporation for its Napier headquarters.

He's done birds, horses, kids' toys and copper corsets, but like the scrap metal motorbike that was his first sculpture, giving a nod to 'grunt' is always at the forefront of his mind.
"I'm passionate about things that have grunt, things that depict strength and utility. They have a special beauty about them."

* Adrian Worsley's works can be viewed at The Adrian Worsley Gallery in Te Aroha, plus his skills are evident in Morrinsville's Wallace Gallery.