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Deans to gift sculpture to Victoria University

Former Telecom Chief Executive Roderick Deane and his wife Gillian are to donate a sculpture by well-known New Zealand artist Neil Dawson to Victoria University.

Victoria University Acting Vice-Chancellor Roy Sharp said the university was enormously grateful to the Deanes for their thoughtful and generous gift, which had been made through the Victoria University Foundation.

“The sculpture has been specially commissioned and will be a stunning addition to our campus environment,” he said.

The sculpture, “Flying Steps”, will be located next to the university’s Hunter Building on Kelburn Parade. It will be installed in 2001.

“I would like to thank the Deanes for their tremendous generosity,” Professor Sharp said. “We are honoured and absolutely delighted by this gift.”

Born in Christchurch in 1948, Neil Dawson has exhibited his sculptures regularly since the late 1970s. While his early work was often wall-based, over the last ten years he has focused on the production of large-scale site specific sculptures in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

Dawson’s works are well known to Wellingtonians, who are fortunate to have several major works of his installed in the central city. These include the dramatic ‘Ferns’, which is suspended in the Civic Square, and ‘The Rock’ at the BNZ Centre.

Dawson is now recognised in the Australasian region as a significant sculptor, with major public installations in Canberra, Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur. He achieved international notoriety when he suspended a globe in the public space outside the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, ensuring that a European audience got a very different view of ‘down-under’.

Dawson is currently working on a major sculptural installation for the Sydney Olympics. He beat off four Australian sculptors to win the Olympic commission.

The university community is invited to the Adam Art Gallery at 3 pm on June 12, where Dawson will give a presentation outlining the concept behind the sculpture, and unveil a model.

Victoria University Wellington

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