Dawson’s Horizons is one of the earliest sculptures to be commissioned for the Gibbs Farm. Sitting as it does on one of the highest points in the property it is also one of the few works that can be seen from the road.
This seems fitting given the way the tromp l’oeil character of the work is suggestive of a giant piece of corrugated iron that might have blown in from a collapsed water tank on some distant farm, only to rest precariously until the next gale lifts it into the air again.
Neil Dawson was born in Christchurch in 1948 and studied at Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, Christchurch and the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Dawson’s practice has focused on the production of large-scale, and site-specific, sculptures in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom.
He is best known for his suspended sculptures, which included Globe installed for the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre at the Pompidou Centre, Paris in 1989. Other major commissions have included the Bomber Command war memorial sculpture in Canberra, Australia, and projects for Wellington’s Civic Square, Stadium Australia
for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and Cathedral Square, Christchurch. In 2003 Dawson received a Laureate Award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation.