In 1999, Dan Buckingham sustained a life-altering neck fracture during club rugby at Otago University and it radically altered both his outlook on life and disability.
He went on to represent New Zealand wheelchair rugby for 16 years – 7 of those years as captain – competing at four World Championships.
Early Life and Education
Buckingham was raised in Invercargill and attended St Kevin’s College before studying at Verdon College. While at St Kevin’s, he captained their first XV rugby team before suffering a neck injury playing club rugby that left him paralyzed from the chest down – leaving wheelchair rugby as his sole form of rehabilitation at Burwood Hospital.
His work centers around function as structure for social interaction, employing various construction strategies in tandem to enable fragmented, improvised and theatrical storytelling. He currently resides in Clayville, New York where he shares a studio with his family as well as serving on the Board of Sculpture Space Utica.
Buckingham believes that inviting curiosity about disability can help change perceptions, while accepting vulnerability is integral to living with disability.
Buckingham was an expert in risk and anti-financial crime compliance roles across medium and large financial institutions, from first line through second line risk roles. His focus included AML/ Sanctions controls within banking sectors worldwide.
He served in the Royal Household as a Butler, supervising teams that provided front-of-house services at Buckingham Palace and other Royal residences. This experience gave him an insightful perspective into high-performance sport as well as its ups and downs.
Dan currently resides in Clayville, NY with his wife and two children. He works from a shared studio space and serves on the board of Sculpture Space of Utica in New York.
Achievement and Honors
Buckingham left an incredible mark in the art world during his short life. His work has been displayed at many key galleries and museums – such as Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute – showcasing cultural exchange within modern context. Additionally, his dedication and love were evident as he is survived by Lisa his wife; brother Jayne; nephews/nieces/friends as well as nieces/nephews. To honor Daniel Buckingham Memorial Fund donations may be sent by mail; thank you very much for supporting him and supporting family life! Thank you very much! Thank you very much! Thank you very much!
On June 18th in Hilo, Hawaii, Buckingham was shot dead by police after allegedly attacking them with a knife and cutting one officer’s arm.
Dan Buckingham was an active community member, volunteering his time and talent on multiple boards and local organizations. He shared a studio in Clayville with his wife and two children as well as serving on the Sculpture Space board in Utica.
Buckingham was passionate about disability advocacy, shifting perceptions around what it meant to live a fulfilling life with disability. He was a dedicated husband, father, brother, and son cherished by many.
Dan competed as a wheelchair rugby player for Canterbury and New Zealand national team (Wheel Blacks). As part of this team – winning silver at Christchurch 2006 World Championships – Dan also competed for club teams across US, Australia and New Zealand.
Buckingham is currently estimated to have an estimated net worth of $15 Million and serves on the Board of Sculpture Space in Utica, NY since 2000. His works have been displayed at several key galleries and museums such as Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. Furthermore, he’s an active artist on Instagram posting travel content as well as man-on-the-street interviews he conducts along his travels.
Buckingham resides with his wife Tina Betz and children in Clayville, New York. An avid traveler, he has visited over 60 countries. Additionally, he enjoys listening to jazz artists such as Sun-Ra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago as well as sharing selfies of himself and pictures of his family on his social media accounts. Furthermore, his own YouTube channel contains travel-themed content as well as short frame-by-frame animations.