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Echo sculpture - Neil Dawson

The first public sculpture by Christchurch artist Neil Dawson has returned, 40 years after its creation.

The Echo sculpture was first suspended as a temporary installation above the north quad of the Christchurch Arts Centre in 1981 for about nine months.

The sculpture, which depicts a small structure in two dimensions, was rebuilt and permanently returned to the site in 1991 and remained there until the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes damaged the buildings to which it was attached.

The sculpture was inspired by Dawson's time as a caretaker at the Arts Centre in the late 1970s. “I remember thinking it would be nice to create a sculpture that captures the architecture of the Arts Centre in a very simple way.” He called the sculpture a “sky drawing”, and said it was designed to encourage people to notice things above, rather than walking with their heads down.

The three-metre-high carbon fibre tubular structure is suspended by thin stainless steel wires, and was permanently reinstalled in its spot, six metres above the centre of the north quad, at the beginning of December 2020.

Arts Centre North Quad, Central City

Last updated: 11.01.2022