Ian Athfield’s nikau palms are major markers of the Square, and with Ferns I’ve aimed for a sort of delicate intricacy that can float over the top of the palms so the two elements can work with each other. 

Neil Dawson has had public and private commissions for large scale site specific sculptures all over the world, and is one of New Zealand’s foremost sculptors.  

Neil has taken his inspiration for this work from the natural environment, using the silver ponga fern and four additional varieties of ferns (petako, lace fern, whekī and pūniu) to create a suspended globe of delicate lacy fern fronds. 

Neil cut out 11 large fronds from aluminium plates and welded them into one form over a wooden mould. He then painted the form gold on the interior and silver on the exterior.  

Aluminium / 3400mm
Civic Square
A joint commission by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, the NZ International Festival of the Arts,  and the City Gallery. With funding from ANZ Banking Group, Creative New Zealand, Credit Suisse First Boston, Telecom NZ Ltd, TOWER Group, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scollay Holdings and Wellington City Council.


Note/ As part of its regular maintenance Ferns has been taken down. We are working with the artist, engineers and the Wellington City Council to get it back up.