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Ben Pearce: Stone Age Eight Gauge

Ben Pearce: Stone Age Eight Gauge

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  • Wed 21 Sep ’16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 22 Sep ’16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 23 Sep ’16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 24 Sep ’16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sun 25 Sep ’16, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


MTG Hawke's Bay, 1 Tennyson St, Napier Show map


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

For a limited time only.

The winning work of this year’s Fieldays No. 8 Wire National Art Award is now on show in the foyer of MTG Hawke’s Bay. Leading Hawke’s Bay artist Ben Pearce won the award with his artwork titled ‘Stone Age Eight Gauge’.

The Fieldays No.8 Wire Award celebrates the ingenuity of New Zealanders, particularly the ability to make do with any available resources. To enter the competition, artists must create an artwork that consists of at least 50 percent number 8 wire. While many artists choose to create on a large scale, Pearce did the opposite, carving his winning artwork from the wire to create tiny steel shards.

“On closer inspection, these tarnished and dented forms begin to resemble ancient artifacts such as spearheads and arrowheads, and fragments of stone tools,” says MTG Art Curator Jess Mio.

These remnants from another time and place transcend national borders, showing that the number 8 wire mentality is global.

“Each culture has its own version based on what common material is at hand. The human deftness of adapting one material to perform tasks or repairs is innate and goes right back to the Stone Age,” Pearce explains.

“Humankind evolves and cultures change as we find innovative ways to use the materials lying around us, whether they are stones or lengths of common fencing wire.”

Pearce is a Napier-based artist who usually works with wood, stone, metal and found objects, often creating small-scale pieces that draw viewers in to take a closer look.

“I wanted to show with number 8 wire that the same ingenuity our ancestors had is within us." His work was one of 25 finalists in the annual competition which this year attracted a record number of entries from around New Zealand.

“It’s a great idea to take a broader view of the number 8 attitude,” says Mio. “It’s also quite an endearing artwork - the objects seem like precious treasures that have been discovered by chance and carefully gathered together.”

‘Stone Age Eight Gauge’ will be on display in the foyer of MTG Hawke’s Bay until September 25 ends.

Image: Stone Age Eight Gauge by Ben Pearce. Carved number eight wire, 2016.

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