Dawson’s Creak – when art truly imitates life

New Zealander Neil Dawson is transforming cities around the world with his breathtaking art installations. Have you spotted one of his masterpieces on your travels?


Kiwi artist Neil Dawson challenges the very essence of perception with his towering art installations merging with the sky. The aluminium and stainless steel structures in Dawson’s work seem to hang suspended over city centres and crowded meeting points, where they evoke a sense of detachment from reality, as they float above heads and (sometimes) creak in the wind.

“The majority of my work has more holes in it than substance; it’s about looking through things, not just at things. There’s always an element of surprise,” Dawson says.

His work has been celebrated throughout the world, from Paris to Christchurch. In fact, Dawson’s best-known pieces are located in New Zealand. These include Ferns, a sphere created from metal fern leaves which hangs above Wellington’s Civic Square, and The Chalice, a large inverted cone in Cathedral Square, Christchurch.

“With public sculpture there’s a real dynamism,” Dawson explains, “because it’s constantly changing with the light and the elements.”

Over the years, the 66-year-old artist has garnered many accolades for his work, such as receiving a Laureate Award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation in 2003. In 2004, Dawson was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Let’s hope that Neil Dawson and his incredible artwork will grace the streets of the UK soon.










About the author

Sertan writes, broadcasts, sings or uses whatever means may be at his disposal to share compelling stories with people. He is a chief contributor to The South African, the sister publication of the New Zealand Times. With his background in journalism Sertan has previously worked on various documentaries and news channels, and has also penned features to the Guardian and other publications.

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