The 2019 Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award will be hotly contested, with two past winners, including Wharepapa South artist Dagmar Elliott, four recent place-getters and a previous people's choice award recipient among this year's finalists.
The annual award, managed by Waikato Museum and partnered by rural supplies co-operative Farmlands, showcases the value, versatility and symbolism of No.8 wire through the creation of artworks made from this iconic material of Kiwi agriculture.
Twenty-five artworks by 23 artists have been selected by the award judge, University of Auckland Associate Professor Linda Tyler.
They will be exhibited from May 11 to June 9 at Hamilton's ArtsPost.
"This exhibition really showcases the versatility of No.8 wire as a material for making art," says Tyler.
"This year's entries show how it can be braided, twisted, tied, wrapped, woven or just left in coils as it comes, and be expressive of both strength and delicacy, energy and line."
Dagmar was a winner in 2014 with Rustic Hinaki, created with her son Nick. She was also runner-up in 2015 with wire jandals.
The finalists also include 2017 winner Jill Godwin (2017), 2018 runner-up Fiona Clark, 2017 runner-up Gaye Jurisich, John Mulholland, who was third in 2017, and 2018 third placegetter Bev Goodwin.
Last year's people's choice award winner Ricks Terstappen is a double finalist this year.
Dagmar is a research technician for DairyNZ but gets her artistic inspiration from her and husband Peter's Wharepapa South farm.
She says rusty wire is a great material to work with.
Dagmar first entered the No.8 Wire Art Award in 2013, and had success in the following two years, as well as being a finalist again in 2016.
Her son Nick, an engineer, taught her to weld so she could cerate her pieces.
Some adorn the farm, some have been sold if people ask to buy them, but she does it for the love and not to sell.
She says Fieldays has always been an important part of family life over the years and she likes to support the organisation.
The winning artworks will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, May 10.
The winner will receive $7000 and second and third placegetters will receive $1000 and $500 respectively from the National Fieldays Society.
President Peter Carr will award the President's Choice Award and visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to vote for the People's Choice Award.
"It's fantastic to see the talent among this year's finalists and we look forward to seeing the masterpieces they have created for this year's competition," says Peter.