Sculpture's timely entry for No 8 Wire awards

00:24, Jun 30 2014
National Fieldays
Kris Fannin of Cambridge fixes up a tent on the Contractors Federation site blown down by strong winds over night at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
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The sun shines on the early starters on the first day of the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Fieldays
After a stormy night, the sun shines over the first day 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
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The weather was bleak on the eve of the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Fieldays
Josie Yockney wears her trusty gumboots to get through wet conditions on the eve of the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Fieldays
Leaning into the wind from a bank above the National Agricultural Fieldays site are, from right, Matamata lads Taylor Green, 19, Zach Bell, 18 and Daniel Phillips, 20.
Rural bachelors
Pretty boys: Rural bachelors contestants, from left, Michael Paton, Jimmy Bentham, Josh Gilbert, Brett Steeghs and Thomas Denham during a question and answer session.
National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
Boys with free stuff: Rhys Kimber, Matt Hanson and Sam Smith, all 15 and from Kristin School in Auckland, enjoy the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
Thumbs up: Zac Gillespie of Inglewood gets his pic taken by Ebony de Thierry in front of a Westpac Rescue Helicopter at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Agricultural Fieldays 2014
Prime Minister John Key tries out a Honda quad bike at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Agricultural Fieldays 2014
Korey Knudsen, 18 months old, tries out an interesting display at the Stoney Creek site at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
National Agricultural Fieldays 2014
Holly Duggan gets a pic to remember with Prime Minister John Key at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

Morrinsville farmer Tony Gray's face splits in a cheeky grin as he says it was probably the "bit of Scottish" in him that started him off as a sculptor.

A finalist in the recent Fieldays No 8 Wire National Art Award with his entry Time and Motion in Space, Gray entered his first event "a lifetime ago" because he heard that doing so would get him a free three-day pass for the Fieldays - a VIP pass with preferential parking.

Gray has been sculpting one way or another ever since, much of his work using "found objects" as some events prescribe.

2014 National Fieldays
Tyler Wetere, 8, complete with goodies bag around this neck, negotiates a walkway at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Little Angus Leigh-Mackenzie appears well-equipped to help with chainsawing displays at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Mark Birks, 5, gets some digger driving advice from Alistair McIntyre at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
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Pumps were needed after heavy overnight at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Sophie Robinson and Jared Suisted at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
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Gumboots and umbrellas were necessary fashion accessories on day two of the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Mark Lambert carries a post hole borer in the fencing competition at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Shane, Aimee, Tommy and Michelle Lawson from Okaihau Bay of Islands are dressed for the inclement weather at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Sam, Nathan, Amanda and Maxwell Flowerday of Tauranga at dressed for the conditions at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
2014 National Fieldays
Nick Lieftieng and Tim Stafford compete in the early stages of the national fencing championships at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Hamilton.
2014 National Fieldays
Tim Stafford and Nick Lieftieng compete in the early stages of the national fencing championships at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Hamilton.

Wife Janet, however, has a different take on his art. "He's a hoarder. It's his way of getting rid of stuff."

The couple's garden illustrates the breadth of Gray's scope - a couple of concrete sofas face each other across his in-ground giant chessboard (64 concrete squares), while a carefully crafted penny farthing bicycle leans against the fence.

Nearby, a clock, created from motorbike cogs and chains, peeps out through prolific bush.

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2014 National Fieldays
Rural bachelor contestants compete in the high tea competition at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Rural bachelor contestants compete in the high tea competition at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Rural bachelor contestants compete in the high tea competition at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Anywhere will do as a youngster takes a nap at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Better weather has brought in more people to the 2014 National Fieldays.
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Karl Bowman, Peter Hardie and Warrick Lilly hard at work in the chainsaw carving competition at 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Spectators check out the chainsaw carving competition at 2014 National Fieldays.
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Peter Hardie working on his wood scultpture at the chainsaw carving competition at 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Callipari Wines winemaker, Micheal Callipari offers Colin Merritt a taste sample at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Some work of Morrinsville man Tony Gray, a finalist in No.8 Wire Art Awards at the 2014 National Fieldays.
2014 National Fieldays
Morrinsville man Tony Gray, a finalist in No.8 Wire Art Awards at the 2014 National Fieldays with some of his work.
2014 National Fieldays
Rural bachelor contestants compete in the high tea competition at the 2014 National Fieldays.

Gray loves the challenge of making clocks - hence his subject choice for the No 8 wire event. Standing 1.8 metres high, the wire sculpture features a clock complete with cleverly engineered moving minute and second hands.

Getting the ratios exactly right was enormously satisfying for Gray, who has always loved the challenge of maths.

Once the sculpture was finished, the next challenge was transporting it to ArtsPost in Hamilton.

Morrinsville farmer Tony Gray at work on a wire sculpture.
CREATOR: Morrinsville farmer Tony Gray at work on a wire sculpture.

Weighing just eight kilograms, the 1.8 metre-high sculpture was carefully secured on a trailer and the Grays set off for the city.

However, the ultra-light sculpture swayed and jiggled so much that they had to stop and buy more rope to tie it down even tighter.

The travelling wire clock certainly caused plenty of interest on the road with tailgaters edging in as near as possible for closer inspection.

More wire creations from Morrinsville farmer Tony Gray.
WIRED UP: More wire creations from Morrinsville farmer Tony Gray.

On their arrival, Gray was relieved to find that, of the hundreds of spots where he had arc-welded the wire, only one tiny break had occurred in transit - and in a barely discernible spot.

Gray has explored several creative avenues over the years; he has entered the Fieldays AgArt competition, Wellington's World of Wearable Art (WoW) and Matamata Sculpture Symposium where, over two weeks, sculptors work on blocks of Hinuera stone.

He also entered a sculpture at the recent Fieldays and describes this as a 100 per cent accurate gumboot weather forecaster.

"You know," he said, sketching his timber, pokerwork and gumboot construction on scrap paper. "If the gumboot is wet, it's raining . . ."

Though he can draw technically, Gray would never describe himself as an artist.

"But I can make things," he said.

The No 8 Wire finalists' work will be on display at ArtsPost until July 7 and, when the exhibition closes, the Grays will find just the right spot in their home for Time and Motion in Space. 

Waikato Times