New Zealand sculptor Virginia King will select the finalist and prize winners for the 25th Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award this year.
The annual award, hosted by Waikato Museum together with Momentum Waikato Community Foundation and supported by the New Zealand National Fieldays Society, challenges artists to turn the iconic Kiwi farming product No.8 Wire into art.
King, a four-time winner of Sculpture on the Gulf's People's Choice Award, said the open call to artists across Aotearoa provides a unique platform to reinvent an everyday farming product and turn it into a compelling creative work.
"This competition celebrates the versatility of a tough but also delicate Kiwi agricultural product, which can be tied, twisted, braided, woven, wrapped or just left in coils," she said.
With public installations across New Zealand and Australia, the Kawakawa-born sculptor is inspired by mythology, history, science and literature and uses recycled materials to draw attention to climate change, which has fuelled her practice since the late 1980s.
King has created an extensive portfolio of large-scale site-specific works, including Willinga Plume at Canberra Airport, Reed Vessel in Melbourne's Docklands and Heart of Oak in Christchurch.
Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham is delighted King is on board to select the finalists and eventual winners of the competition saying King's skills and credentials speak for themselves.
"Waikato Museum is proud to be hosting an award that embodies Kiwi ingenuity and brings awareness and appreciation to an innovative piece of agricultural history that's become part of our nation's psyche."
The New Zealand National Fieldays Society President James Allen said this award is about turning a simple agricultural product into a thought-provoking piece of art that tells a great story.
Last year's winner, Napier-based artist Asaki Kajima created a Dali-inspired sculptural artwork titled Space Cow.
This year's winner will receive $7000, with $1000 for second placing and $500 for third placing. The award ends with a month-long exhibition at Hamilton's ArtsPost Galleries, opening on Friday, April 23. Selected finalists could also be invited to have their work displayed at Fieldays.
Entries are open until March 12. The streamlined online entry system allows artists to upload multiple images of their work and ensures the integrity of the award's blind judging process by keeping the artists' identities confidential.
The awards ceremony will take place on April 22.