21 Feb 2014
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A new sculpture by prominent Canterbury artist Neil Dawson, launched today, was inspired by his attempts to draw the damaged Christ Church Cathedral Spire from memory.
The 14.5-metre tall aluminium work is based on the geometry of the Cathedral spire, and serves as reminder of it, and the other neo-gothic structures that perished or were damaged in the earthquakes.
Dawson hopes ‘Spires’ in the city’s Latimer Square will stimulate discussion about artwork in the city and the value of design and the creative industries as Christchurch moves further away from recovery into the rebuild.
“There has been so much loss in the city, including a loss of location. There is a need for markers and reminders. I wanted here to recreate the experience of looking up at a point in the sky, something that Christchurch has missed for some time now.’’
Creative New Zealand provided nearly $10,000 towards the project, The Canterbury Community Trust $5,000 and the remainder of the work and materials estimated at more than $200,000 has generously been provided by the artist and over 20 local businesses with substantial in-kind sponsorship.
“So many good Christchurch people have contributed in so many ways to this beautiful piece of art. It’s incredibly rewarding to see it all come to fruition and we hope this shows what can be achieved when people roll their sleeves up and go for it,” says Helen Trappitt of Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers, who carried out the structural engineering and project management.
‘Spires’ will remain in Latimer Square temporarily with Christchurch City Council approving the land use until 2016.
Neil Dawson has an exhibition of small sculptures that explore the concept and design of ‘Spires’ opening at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington from 5 March 2014.
Photos by Geof Wilson.
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