Neil Dawson Latimer Square sculpture to be unveiled — 19.02.14

Well-known Canterbury sculptor and AFNZ Laureate Neil Dawson will unveil his latest work in Latimer Square the week of 17 February.

Spires was created by Neil Dawson, the artist behind the Chalice in Christchurch's Cathedral SquareInstallation - The neo-gothic-esque installation was inspired when the artist tried in vain to draw the damaged Christchurch Cathedral Spire from memory.  

Neil Dawson hopes the piece 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. 

Over 3,000 man-hours have gone into Spires, a feat that all involved are incredibly proud of.  Helen Trappitt from Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers who carried out the structural engineering and project management for the project says it was quite a process getting Spires off the ground, in more ways than one, but "we are extremely proud to have been part of it".

"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. 

"Everyone involved in the project contributed with such enthusiasm and attention to detail, we have been able to deliver what will hopefully be considered a world class piece of sculpture".

Spires will remain in Latimer Square temporarily with Christchurch City Council approving the land use until 2016.

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 to have a total worth of over $200,000 has generously been provided by the artist and over 20 local businesses with substantial in-kind sponsorship.

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. 

You can hear Neil talking about this work in an Arts Foundation YOU CALL THIS ART event, recorded by Radio New Zealand National.