Echo from past to rise again
The Christchurch Arts Centre has launched a $30,000 fundraising campaign to bring back the first public sculpture by local artist Neil Dawson.
The Echo was first suspended above the north quad of the Arts Centre in 1981 for about nine months. It was returned in 1990 and remained there until the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes damaged the buildings to which it was attached. The work was slightly damaged and was stored safely in Dawson’s studio.
The Arts Centre has launched a campaign on crowd-funding site Boosted to remake the sculpture and install it once again above the north quad. The work, which depicts a small structure in two dimensions, was a familiar sight in the Arts Centre before the 2011 earthquakes.
The campaign, which had raised about $1300 by Friday afternoon, will close on August 20. It is the first time the Arts Centre has turned to crowd funding to raise money.
Fundraising manager Susan Henson said people often ask about the sculpture.
‘‘People ask where it is and remember that little house in the sky,’’ she said. ‘‘It is one of those artworks that people want to bring back.’’
The fundraising campaign is running in tandem with an exhibition of Dawson’s work at The Central, a gallery that opened in the Arts Centre in March.
Dawson will remake the artwork in carbon fibre from the original plans. The sculpture was inspired by his time as a caretaker at the Arts Centre in the late 1970s, he saidin March.
‘‘The piece came about one night when I was doing my rounds at about midnight. I heard this strange echo. I went to the north quad and there was a woman sitting cross-legged on the lawn playing the flute. It was magic. I remember thinking it would be nice to create a sculpture that captures the architecture of the Arts Centre in a very simple way.’’
Dawson has since designed some of the best-known public art sculptures in Christchurch. He designed the Chalice in Cathedral Square, Spires in Latimer Square and Fanfare on the motorway north of the city.
Neil Dawson’s Echo sculpture was first installed at the Christchurch Arts Centre in 1981.