Field days No.8 Wire Competition - First prize

In 2017 the Fieldays National Art Award held its annual competition to create a number 8 wire sculpture. In deciding to partake, my graphic design brain kicked in – I looked for a solid concept, and I featured typography as the central wire component.

Judge of the competition, sculpture expert and art academic Dr Robin Woodward praised the works "Down-to-Earth Kiwi-ness. "We need No.8 wire for all sorts of things. Not least of all is a fence. But in New Zealand we don't need a wall."

I developed the No. 8 Wire Lettering System by taking a toughened inflexible material and transforming it into a soft lyrical alphabetical form. As a first time entrant to the Fieldays No. 8 Wire Competition, my inclination was to return to the fundamentals of No. 8 wire - ‘Fences’. The word that logically followed, was ‘Wall’. That gave me: ‘Fences vs Walls’. ‘IN NZ WE DON’T NEED WALLS ONLY FENCES’ then came to me after recalling a recent discussion with my Father about the practical fact that NZ, as an island nation would never have a need for a ‘debatable’ wall. 

This work is relevant globally, nationally and individually. It’s easy to say we don’t need a wall with the expanse of sea around us, but the real challenge is to be tested in our ‘own back yard’. To resist building ‘walls’ between ourselves and others takes courage. Alternatively, to build a ‘fence’ is symbolic of a transparent boundary that keeps us integral to ourselves whilst remaining connected to others.

Buddle Findlay Art Award: First prize

‘Blueprints’ were a series of monoprints hung inside a hand made wooden cabinet with glass sliding doors, measuring 1 x 3 metres.  The shapes derive from dinghy patterns (refer dinghy design page). When cut out, the curved edges are pulled and stitched together to form the hull of the flarebow dinghy. I completed this work, including the making of the case, within a 2 week period during my graduating year at Elam, 1994. Work shown on the left was part of my printmaking graduation show.

Kaipola ‘Aho Fa’ele’i, Ponsonby, Auckland 1994

This photo montage was created from images taken from a narrow lounge window of my flat in 48 Vermont Street, during a celebratory Tongan 21st party that took place in my neighbours backyard. The pigs were slaughtered on site and prepared for the afternoon feast. This activity was common in Ponsonby, but would have been one of the last such occurrences of it, before the gentrification of Ponsonby took hold.

The photo won both peoples choice and first in the ‘Sports and Leisure’ category of the 'Ponsonby Exposed’ photographic competition, run by Jeff and Maggie Scholes.