Malcolm Doidge



  • Sculpture


  • Steel


  • H2500 x W850mm

Malcolm Doidge, ‘Ascent’ (1984), Lincoln University, Canterbury.

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


"Symbolising growth and the endless opportunities in the agricultural sector, this sculpture was created by Malcolm Doidge not long after graduating from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. Representative of a Greek column, the artist was interested in creating a work that could have a sense of mass or of no mass depending on your viewing angle. It was funded through a Department of Labour scheme in 1984. 

The sculpture has had an adventurous life on campus from its very inception. Only days before the sculpture was to be cemented in place outside the Forbes Building it mysteriously disappeared and a replacement appeared. A steady stream of students and staff viewed the new ‘sculpture’ over the course of the day and some even signed a petition asking for it to remain. Eventually two local students came forward as the culprits and described how their ensemble of milk cans, barbed wire, car parts and metal drums collected from local sheds was assembled and put in place at 2.30 am to avoid detection.

The sculpture is now positioned on the other side of campus and is loved by staff and students alike."