Tikorangi artist’s fracking sculpture makes award finals

Tikorangi artist Fiona Clark's fracking inspired sculpture made the finals of the No. 8 Wire National Art Award at the ...
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Tikorangi artist Fiona Clark's fracking inspired sculpture made the finals of the No. 8 Wire National Art Award at the Mystery Creek fieldays last week.

Fiona Clark has found inspiration in the nearby rumblings and noise of an oil and gas exploration site.

The Tikorangi woman, who lives near a well site, drew on the contentious practice of hydraulic fracking as motivation to create Fracked ground above and below.

Using only wool, No. 8 wire and a potato sack, the sculpture was crafted over several months and won Clark a spot in Fieldays at Mystery Creek's annual No. 8 Wire National Art Award finals, held this month.

Clark and 14 other artists vied for top spot at the distinguished awards, which challenged participants to mainly use No.8 wire. Auckland-based sculptor Rebecca Rose took out the major prize of $8000.

It was the second time Clark had made the finals. In 2013 her large sculpture was made entirely of the iconic Kiwi agricultural product. 

"I enjoy using No. 8 wire and its related rural and agricultural materials. I regard myself as a visual activist artist, living rurally."

"Although my work is primarily image making and photographic, I still really like making and arranging objects. Often this is private work, but now I am more public with this and the No. 8 wire show each year gives me this opportunity to consider showing one work a year."

The rustic artist, who studied sculpture at Auckland University as part of her fine arts degree, is known for her topical choice of subject matter.

Activity at the oil and gas well site next to her, and its flurry of contractors, stirred the creative process for this year's sculpture, she said.

"It took several months of work to make. The concept and the final resolved work differed - but that often happens."

Finalist's sculptures are on display in a free exhibition until June 29 at ArtsPost Galleries and Shop in Hamilton.

 - Stuff

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