Neil Dawson's Toss

Story by Jess Aitken and Lizzie Murray

Museum and Heritage Studies, 2015


Toss is a sculpture by Neil Dawson. It was gifted to the University by Sir Roderick Deane and Lady Gillian Deane n 2014. The sculpture is suspended over the Hunter Courtyard here at Victoria's Kelburn Campus.

The graduation cap symbolises the success and achievements of Victoria's students.

Ironically, Victoria students are unable to 'toss' their caps when they graduate, so in a way, the sculpture now represents this gesture for us.

A Stairway to Heaven

Toss belongs in the University's art collection. The sculpture replaced an earlier piece by Dawson called Flying Steps, also gifted by the Deanes to honour the University's centenary in 1999.

The Artist

Neil Dawson is a New Zealand sculptor with unique installations suspended in public spaces all over the world.

Dawson made the local newspaper when he was in the fourth form (year 10) for his April Fool's day prank. He spray painted "April Fool" in huge white letters on the roof of his school assembly hall.

Dawson cites this first encounter with graffiti as the beginning of his public art career.

See If for Yourself

Kirk Wing, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand