September 9 - October 1, 2011
Neil Dawson has long been interested in reflection, in playing sculpturally with notions of mirror image, the shard and the fragment. Several works in this exhibition, Incident, manifest exactly these concerns.
Several wall works also comprise this exhibition. Fashioned over the last year, they reflect life in Christchurch’s quake zone. Dawson has adapted two recording technologies of earthquake science, the seismograph and the pulsing circles of the Christchurch Quake Map site (http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz) in series called Plates and Pulse Discs respectively.
The latter are coloured edition pieces, digitally printed onto acrylic, with a delicate physical presence just off the wall. The Plate works are weightier pieces, laser cut in steel, then carefully painted. Cleverly, the jagged line of the seismograph becomes a fissure. So that in the pale pearlescence of Requiem, a plate of willow pattern is cracked right down the middle.
In Plates1, a similar sense of rupture seems to foreground the image, running as it does along the bottom of the work, while from above the plate is cleaved almost by divine intervention. The destabilizing movement of plate tectonics is deftly suggested here. But it is the unerring sense of pattern – a sense of fragment and of shards repeated, poised and in the end made coherent, that is pivotal in these works of Neil Dawson’s.
Where once it might have been the repeated lozenge of mesh – soldered, folded and tied by hand – that made Dawson’s sculpture fly, now it is more likely computer scanning, laser cutting and industrial printing technologies that materially drive the work. The joy of all this is however, that in Incident this is only part of what you see.
List of Works:
Plates 1, 2010
Plates 2, 2011
Pulse Discs No's 1-5, 2011