Art for Our Valley

Ascension - A Suspended Sculpture for Masterton by Neil Dawson

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Ascension - the final push!

Thanks to the generous support of Trust House Masterton, Lands Trust Masterton, and many within the Wairarapa community, we have already secured 90% of the funds needed to bring Ascension to Masterton. It has also received the approval of Masterton District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency to be sited and built at the northern entrance to Masterton.

We are aiming to raise a further $14,000 to complete the fundraising journey of this ambitious and exciting project. For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee, you can be part of the story of realising Ascension for Masterton. These additional funds will get us over the line, and secure Ascension for the community.

Join us on our journey to reach our goal and spread the word about Ascension by sharing the link to this page with your networks.

What is Ascension?

Ascension is the creation of internationally acclaimed sculptor Neil Dawson. The artwork is a ten metre high double helix sculpture, suspended five metres above the ground. It is ambitious and daring, appearring to defy gravity as it hovers above the northern entrance to Masterton. Ascension will take pride of place in the middle of the round-about at the northern entrance to Masterton and create an unforgettable physical and visual focus for residents and visitors alike.

Neil Dawson is one of New Zealand's most eminent sculptors and public artists. He received a Laureate Award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation in 2003 and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004. Many people will be familiar with his New Zealand works Chalice in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, and Ferns in Wellington's Civic Square.

Neil has a strong personal connection with Masterton, having been schooled at Masterton Primary for five years before becoming a founding student at Masterton Intermediate. His father was the Methodist minister at the Wesley Church at that time.

Hear Neil talk about Asension and the process of conceiving work on this scale in a recent audio interview, click here.

What is the Art for Our Valley?

The aim of the Art for Our Valley is to bring beautiful public works of art to the Wairarapa. Ascension will be the second significant piece of public art work to be commissioned by the Aratoi Foundation. Windgrass by Konstantin Dimopoulos, was installed in Featherston in 2012. This project is part of the Foundation's vision to install sculpture in each of the region's five towns.

Thank you!

Donations from generous individuals, businesses and organisations make an invaluable contribution to realising Ascension for Masterton. We are extremely grateful for your support.