Neil Dawson (born Christchurch, 1948) is a prominent New Zealand sculptor. His best known works are large-scale civic pieces crafted from aluminium and stainless steel, often made using a lattice of natural forms which between them form a geometric whole. Dawson's best-known pieces include The Chalice, a large inverted cone in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, and Ferns, a sphere created from metal fern leaves which hangs above Wellington's Civic Square. Major overseas commissions include Globe, for the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and Canopy, for Brisbane's Queensland Art Gallery.
Dawson's smaller works often use illusion and such optical patterns as moiré to achieve their effects. Many of these works are wall-hangings, though stand-alone pieces using such everyday patterned items as the forms of playing cards and willow pattern crockery are also among Dawson's works.
Dawson was born in Christchurch , and gained a Diploma of Fine Arts (Hons) at Canterbury University 1970, where he studied under Tom Taylor and Eric Doudney. This was followed by a Graduate Diploma in Sculpture from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 1973. Dawson taught drawing and design at Christchurch Polytechnic from 1975 to 1983, but has worked as a full-time sculptor since the late 1980s. Dawson was awarded an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2003.