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30 Jun, 7.00pm, MCA


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09 Jul, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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5 Years of ARTBAR

Roaming carrots, Hummer limos, tea ceremonies and bikes in the galleries. Five years proof that anything can happen at #MCAARTBAR more

MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

From the archives: Unconventional Materials

From the Archives is our blog series unearthing gems from the MCA’s archives, written by resident archivist Stephanie Ferrara more

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Neil Dawson: Steps

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


17 Feb 1994 to 08 Apr 1994

About the exhibition

Suspended outside the Circular Quay entrance to the MCA Neil Dawson’s spiral staircase Steps appeared to defy gravity. Using six sections of painted aluminium tubing and held taut with stainless steel wires, the linear structure hung eight metres above the ground, providing a framework for Dawson’s other materials – space and a constantly changing sky.

Spiralling kinetic effects were created as viewers walked around the sculpture. These effects varied with the changing natural and artificial light and the works relationship to the building, the harbour and the cityscape. Dawson described Steps as a visual conundrum, designed to challenge viewers’ conception of the environment, the building’s identity and their own visual perceptions. With Steps Dawson sought to create a work related to the scale of the MCA, complementing the layered rectangular block construction of the building’s 1930s Art Deco design.

This commissioned work was the first project in the MCA’s Mary Burrows Program of Contemporary Art.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Neil Dawson
  • Steps