Neil Dawson

b. 1948

Also known as:

  • Francis Neil Dawson

Neil Dawson was born in Christchurch. He studied at the Canterbury University School of Fine Art and then the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne). Since his earliest installation 'Seascape' (1979) at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, he has compiled an impressive portfolio of works held both in New Zealand and overseas.

Dawson's art practice centres on large-scale, site-specific sculptures. He is best known for his suspended sculptures, the first of which was 'Echo' (1981). He created his first suspended sphere, 'Globe' (1989), for the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This was followed by a number of other suspended sphere works most notably 'Ferns' (1998), installed in Wellington's Civic Square.

Dawson received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2003 and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004. Following this Dawson completed his first major outdoor works in the United Kingdom: 'Raindrops' and 'Wellsphere' (2005-6).

See also:

Neil Dawson, ‘Throwback’ (1992), Albert Park, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021