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Fanfare artwork to be installed in Christchurch

Fanfare, a 20 metre diameter, $2 million sculpture by Christchurch artist Neil Dawson plans to be installed by SCAPE Public Art in 2014.

The Christchurch City Council’s Community, Recreation and Culture Committee yesterday strongly supported and agreed to the installation and ongoing maintenance of Fanfare. Further work is to involve a workshop to confirm a suitable location before a proposal is presented to Council.

Fanfare, Neil Dawson. A Welcome to the new Christchurch. Proposal – artist’s visualization, in situ at Chaney’s Corner, Northern Motorway Christchurch, (2012) SCAPE Public Art.

The artwork was originally commissioned by the City of Sydney for the celebration of the 2005 New Year. It was raised from a barge at midnight and suspended from Sydney Harbour Bridge for a period of three weeks. In 2007, with the support of Dawson, the Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, Clover Moore,  gifted it to the people of Christchurch.

Jenny Harper, Director Christchurch Art Gallery and member of the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group says “people I know who saw this sculpture in Sydney were hugely impressed. The Public Art Advisory Group have spent considerable time weighting up the pros and cons of different sites with the artist. If its able to be installed at Chaney’s Corner as we recommend, it will become a hopeful, uplifting and symbolic entrance at the new city we are building.”

Like much of Dawson’s work, Fanfare has been created on an impressive scale.  The spherical geodesic work weighs 25 tonnes and has 360 separate one metre diameter wind-powered “pinwheels” covering the surface of the structure.  It will be lit by coloured lights which are able to  be changed to correspond with special events in Christchurch’s calendar.

Neil Dawson says “Fanfare is a work that was designed as a celebration and a greeting to the city of Sydney. I am delighted that Fanfare will be installed in my home town and will now find a prominent site. After five years of looking for a perfect site for this sculpture, the Chaney’s Corner site on the Northern Motorway is my favoured location. Fanfare will hopefully become a celebration and an icon of the dynamic, cultural city that we are building.”

Mainfreight and the Port of Lyttelton have already sponsored the transport and storage of Fanfare.  The Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group and the Local Heroes Trust have committed funds to the project and Leighs Construction have confirmed construction expertise and materials sponsorship for the artwork’s installation.

The cost to commission and install the artwork is $848,000 of which the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Fund has committed $350,000 as its portion of the $730,000 confirmed funding to the project.  To raise the shortfall required for the artwork’s commissioning and installation, the Art & Industry Biennial Trust will undertake a public fundraising campaign. Members of the public and local businesses will have an opportunity to join the “Fan Club” once a site for Fanfare has been confirmed.

The proposal has been supported by Selwyn MP and Associate Minister for Earthquake Recovery Amy Adams.

Bob Blyth, Project Director, BECA and Chair of the Art & Industry Biennal Trust who are the producers of SCAPE Public Art says “This dynamic sculpture is world-class. Its installation will bring together the most skilled practitioners in public art, kinetics and the processes of engineering, lighting and landscaping. Its installation will be a celebration of what is the best in Christchurch.”

NZTA has given approval in principle to site the public work of art at the Chaney’s Corner location.

Governing Patron of the Art & Industry Biennial Trust, Adrienne, Lady Stewart says, “SCAPE Public Art are committed to the installation of Fanfare. We thank NZTA for their foresight in giving permission in principle to locate the work in such a high-profile location”.

Neil Dawson is a Christchurch sculptor of international standing.  His works are located world-wide and include: Ferns, Wellington’s Civic Square, Feather from Afar, Shanghai, China, Raindrops in Manchester, UK and Chalice which continues to stand tall in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.

The Art & Industry Biennial Trust are the producers of SCAPE Public Art which was set up 14 years ago to install large scale free-to-view contemporary public art in Christchurch city.

Further information:

Updated on 23rd July 2015