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Ripples back in rightful home

3 May 2017

Sculptor Neil Dawson with his Ripples sculpture at Waikato Museum

Image: Sculptor Neil Dawson with his Ripples sculpture at Waikato Museum

An iconic piece of Hamilton public art is back in its rightful home outside Waikato Museum and above the Waikato River.

Neil Dawson’s sculpture Ripples was created specifically for the Waikato Museum building in Grantham Street when it opened in 1987.

Commissioned by Hamilton law firm McCaw Lewis, the sculpture represents droplets of water and waves radiating outward.
It is suspended 20 metres above the ground on six wires strung between two trees.

In 2016, it was discovered that 29 years of exposure to the elements had corroded Ripples’ fibreglass surface, so it was returned to Mr Dawson in Christchurch for restoration.

Today, the reinstallation process was completed, in time for a milestone celebration later this year.

Waikato Museum Director Cherie Meecham says Ripples is much-loved part of Hamilton’s public art collection and the city’s south-end cultural precinct.

“We’ve had many visitors ask about Ripples’ whereabouts,” she says. “The view from our riverfront galleries isn’t the same without this iconic sculpture set amongst the trees and against the sky.

“With Waikato Museum marking 30 years in this building in October, it was important to have Ripples back where it belongs for this special occasion.”

Mr Dawson is excited to see Ripples return to the environment it was created for.

“Ripples has a special place in my career, I haven’t done anything else like it,” he says.

“The relationship between the site and the river is the magic of it. The idea is to liquefy the sky.”

The restoration project has future-proofed Ripples for at least another 30 years.


Dan Silverton
Waikato Museum Partnerships and Communications Manager
07 838 6956
021 056 9810