Thursday, September 16, 2010

The ripple effect

If every dog has its day, every sculpture does too. Something we often hear from artists following a cancelled exhibition or a stalled commission is, “one day it will be done, it’ll keep.” That was certainly a guiding principle for Neil Dawson who often had works sitting around as ideas or models or first versions for years, just waiting for the right architectural client or opportunity. Take Ripples, a three-dimensional ripple emerging out of the flat white wall of the gallery created for his survey exhibition at the National Art Gallery way back in 1989. As the show ended we all figured that one day it would make a reappearance in a permanent form somewhere. 

And now that day has come. If you want to see Ripples it is in the old Postal Centre that has been converted into Christchurch Council offices by Ian Athfield. It is a nice reminder that while many buildings in Christchurch have been damaged in the recent earthquake, many others survived the shock waves rippling through them. Neil’s work is both a visual sensation and now a nod to the fluidity of even the strongest constructions of our built universe.