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Sculpture to rise above

Sculptor Neil Dawson (pictured in the blue hardhat) and his team work to install the long-awaited Ascension sculpture. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

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D-Day has arrived for Ascension.
The long-anticipated, and previously controversial, sculpture is being erected today.
Internationally acclaimed sculptor Neil Dawson, who spent his primary school years in Masterton, is onsite directing his installation team.
It is expected the sculpture will be hanging above the town’s northern roundabout before the day is out.
Mr Dawson said he was a touch apprehensive and would not be able to relax until Ascension was in its final resting place – “up in the air”.
“It’s exciting, it’s been about three years since I first came to Masterton to look at the project and the roundabout, and now it’s all coming to fruition.”
Traffic Safe NZ is controlling traffic around the site, on State Highway 2.
Traffic Management Supervisor Michael Gordon said Ascension arrived on a truck at 7am in two pieces.
“Once everything gets connected it’s going to come together quite nicely.”
Melbourne resident Karen Bell, who has spent the last few months in Masterton writing, was at the scene watching the installation team at work.
She said she was a fan of the unique public artwork, which was sure to “lift people’s spirits”.
“From my perspective it’s just fantastic.
“I love the name of it and from a distance you’re not going to see the wires, it’s just going to be a sculpture suspended in space.”



  1. It’s a piece of art but like other pieces of art held up by wires. I see the centre bit and it’s support poles and wires as all one item and I don’t like it. I like the pictures of it which they show without poles or wires but that is not what you see driving past. The money is not the issue.

  2. I am a big fan. If the cost is $330,000 divided by the 40,000 odd population of the Wairarapa then I think $7.50 to appreciate a sculpture like that over a lifetime is money well spent!

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