Success of Fieldays acknowledged
The success of Fieldays has been acknowledged with two exhibitions in Hamilton celebrating New Zealand’s rural spirit.
At Waikato Museum, Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, the 50 Years of Fieldays exhibition was opened, documenting the event’s half-century journey from humble beginnings to economic powerhouse.
The recognition has been a long time coming for one of the original Fieldays committee members Doug Baldwin.
‘‘It’s really good to see Hamilton City Council finally acknowledge Fieldays and this exhibition goes a long way towards it,’’ said Baldwin.
‘‘It’s an acknowledgement and says something about the success of Fieldays.’’
The winners of the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award were also announced.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society President Peter Carr said it was a privilege to open both exhibitions, one celebrating where the event has come from.
‘‘The other the representation of how diverse the event has become.’’
A past Fieldays president Rod Bryant said he struggled with how big the event grows every year.
‘‘When we got to 30,000 visitors we thought we had reached saturation point but then we started talking about 40,000, but how much bigger can this become.’’
The Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award winners were announced at the ArtsPost Galleries & Shop in Hamilton.
Canterbury’s Akky van der Velde won the top prize for her work Outside the Square.
Outside the Square was one of 23 finalists in the running for the major prize of $7000.
Fiona Clark from Taranaki was the runner-up for her sculpture Bushtail Mammal 1837, while Auckland’s Bev Goodwin placed third for her work, Play Time.
Each received $1000 and $500 respectively.
This year’s President’s Choice Award, selected by Peter Carr, went to Sophie Prendergast of Auckland for Life Tree.
Director of Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Andrew Clifford, who judged the Fieldays National Art Award, said No.8 wire speaks of innovation.
‘‘It’s what we need to move this planet forward,’’ he said
The No.8 Wire National Art Award is the first of this year’s Fieldays festivities, with the exhibition featuring all 23 finalists running at ArtsPost until June 11.
The 50 Years of Fieldays exhibition is open at Waikato Museum until August 19.
Waikato Museum and ArtsPost are open 10am to 5pm daily and entry is free.
Fieldays originals Kerry Clarkin, Rod Bryant, John Kneebone, Doug Baldwin and Peter Carr.
Hamilton Mayor Andrew King with the winner of the Fieldays No.8 Wire Art Award, Akky van der Velde, next to her work, Outside the Square. With them are Fieldays president Peter Carr and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery Director, Andrew Clifford.
The 50 Years of Fieldays exhibition was opened by Fieldays president Peter Carr and Hamilton city councillor Angela O’Leary.