Friday, 20 February 2015

World renowned sculptor helps Foodstuffs South Island celebrate 25th anniversary

Prominent sculptor, Neil Dawson, has been commissioned by the Foodstuffs South Island Board of Directors to design a unique installation to help celebrate the Co-operative’s 25th anniversary. 

Christchurch based sculptor, Neil Dawson, is best known for his large-scale civic pieces made from aluminum and stainless steel, including The Chalice, a large inverted cone which graces Christchurch’s Cathedral Square and Ferns, a sphere created from metal fern leaves which hangs above Wellington’s Civic Square.  Dawson’s work is in demand overseas with prominent commissions being Globe, at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and Canopy, located at Brisbane's Queensland Art Gallery.

When the Board contacted Dawson with the brief to “create a sculpture that will celebrate and commemorate 25 years of Foodstuffs South Island and be something which the wider community can enjoy” he says, “I began thinking about all the things 250-plus supermarkets may have in common and it seemed clear that the land and sky were that common theme – these aspects are unique to the South Island as it is not only where we live, it is where a lot of the fresh produce and meat for the business is sourced.”

Dawson’s creation is called, Landscape Bowl, and will be situated in the Foodstuffs garden on Main North Road. Landscape Bowl is 5.3 metres high with a 5.7 metre diameter stainless steel conical design supported by a stainless steel conical base pedestal.  The upper bowl is laser cut with a reaping pattern inspired by the Alps, Plains and braided rivers of the South Island. The sculpture is painted gold and silver and will be illuminated at night using internal LED lights.

“The greatest surprise I am looking forward to with this sculpture is how it will look at various times of the day with the changes in lighting and the different weather conditions. The LED lights projected onto the edge tracery of the upper bowl will also project pools of light down onto the lawn. The lighting design will work both from a distance as well as creating an intimate atmosphere close-up,” says Dawson.

“It’s interesting that people always ask me what my artworks mean?” says Dawson. “I am of the opinion they don’t actually have to mean anything, they simply are – each individual sees what they want to see and takes what they need from the artwork. That is part of the joy of being an artist and I hope everyone who sees this piece of art simply enjoys it for what it is – a celebration of things that are good about the South.”

Robin Brown, Chair of the Board of Directors for Foodstuffs South Island says,” It is a great honour to have someone of Neil Dawson’s calibre design this piece of work. We are so delighted that we can celebrate our 25th anniversary with the launch of Neil’s installation. The sculpture successfully incorporates the success and spirit of our cooperative and the uniqueness of the South Island, something that we are all very proud of.”

“We are thrilled to have such an amazing piece of visual art that can be enjoyed not only by Foodstuffs staff but by the wider Christchurch community,” continues Brown.

Ruamoko Solutions Ltd will install the sculpture on behalf of Dawson in mid-November.  The structural design of the sculpture will allow it to be assembled on site using five main components; the pedestal section and the four quarters of the upper cone. These components will be bolted together on site and will sit on top of a circular concrete base pad.

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