Not only can No. 8 wire save the day on a farm, but a sense of humour and ingenuity can be ‘a bloody lifesaver’, according to artist John Mulholland.
That was the inspiration behind the Warkworth artist’s award winning work at the 2017 Fieldays No. 8 Wire National Art Awards. The work was placed third, out of 28 finalists, and was exhibited at Hamilton’s ArtsPost in May, before the Mystery Creek Fieldays in June.
John says his work is normally more conceptual and abstract but he intentionally made the lifesaver for a laugh. He enjoyed watching the reaction to the work at the art awards, as he often does not see the public response.
“Some people commented it would sink or knock someone out if it was thrown. It’s funny how people go to the bluntly obvious and find the humour,” John says.
Art award judge Dr Robin Woodward says the exhibition is a reflection of what matters to New Zealand artists and communities.
“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,” Dr Woodward says.
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.
John says he has been influenced by living on a farm in Warkworth in his semi-retirement. It is a stark contrast to his busy career travelling to large cities as a designer and visual brander working with engineers and architects. John says his commercial work allowed him to design and construct his large scale sculptures.