It’s hard to imagine buttoned up, pre-quake conservative Christchurch embracing epic street art murals, and yet here we are now five years later in the running for the title of ‘ The Southern Hemisphere’s street art capital’. Add the recent re-openings of local art palaces The Christchurch Art Gallery and CoCA alongside the hugely popular SPECTRUM Street Art Festival and the city’s flourishing suburban gallery and underground scenes, and Christchurch is booming as an art hub. Cityscape caught up with the people behind the city’s resurging art scene for the lowdown on Christchurch’s revamped art cred and what the future holds.
An event as big as the quakes couldn’t help but affect the city’s art scene just as much as it affected all other aspects of life in the city, notes Centre of Contemporary Art’s (CoCA) new director and principal curator Paula Orrell, reflecting that the ‘contemporary’ has been redefined....
The first piece of STAY, a Christchurch legacy public artwork by renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley, is being installed in the CERA Te Papa Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct project as part of SCAPE 8 New Intimacies. The piece is the first of two identical cast iron figures commissioned by the Christchurch City Council Public Art Advisory Group, to be located in different parts of the city, with the matching figure to eventually be installed in the Northern Quadrangle of the Arts Centre of Christchurch in early 2016. In a city in the throes of reconstruction, STAY evokes a place where retrospect and remembrance intermingle with future plans. The first piece’s position, mid-current in the Ōtākaro Avon River, offers a point of reflection and contemplation in a natural environment, which seems comparatively unchanged by Christchurch’s recent history. The second figure at the Arts Centre – a site that bears the memory of...
The local art scene did it tough for a while after the quakes, with lack of suitable spaces in particular a real problem, but necessity being the mother of invention (particularly in resilient art circles), we’ve seen it bounce back well, with artistic havens popping up in all sorts of places.
With the work of so many outstanding local artists showcased within easy reach, there’s really no excuse for not knowing the local talent – so get out there and uncover the next big thing!
Svetlana Orinko, Japonica Blossoms: Bryce Gallery.
We may be waiting on the Arts Centre, Christchurch Art Gallery (soon!) and CoCA Gallery (very soon!) to re-open, but that doesn’t mean the central city is bereft of art – far from it. There’s plenty of spectacular new street art to check out, but a whole host of formal establishments, too. Drop into the unique Auricle sound...
Going from taboo to trendy, tattoos now span generations, genders and social identities – Cityscape finds out what gives, along with the where and why of getting inked in Christchurch.
Once the domain of sailors (we’re looking at you Popeye!), jailbirds, gangs and representing a misspent youth, tattoos are no longer relegated to the realm of counter culture. Personalised etchings and tribal markings are everywhere we look. They adorn our sporting heroes (Sonny Bill Williams, David Beckham), Hollywood idols (Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp), supermodels (Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss), musicians (Rihanna, Adam Levine) – even our police are now acceptably inked. “Tattooing has been around as long as skin, but celebrities did a lot to make it ‘normal’ and ‘okay’,” says The Ink Spot’s Steve Malley. “Because they’re in front of the cameras on TV and in the magazines, their ink spends a lot of time in front of your eyes, making...
Post-quake Christchurch has gotta be one of the world’s best blank canvases for street art, and the recent RISE Street Art Festival and plenty of big building owners getting into the spirit of things (nice one, guys) have been painting the town. The still-rebuilding Theatre Royal, Les Mills, Canterbury Museum, and The Colombo are just some of the sites arting up our city. Here’s our pick of the best and where you’ll find them.
124 Peterborough Street
167 Lichfield Street
169 Gloucester Street
203 Cashel Street (Les Mills)
268 High Street
370 Colombo Street
CPIT, Madras Street
YMCA, Hereford Street
Les Mills (front)
Isaac Theatre Royal (Gloucester Street)
Burst, flip and wobble your way to Christchurch Art Gallery’s mind-bending exhibit at ArtBox.
Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker — eight energetic words that perfectly sum up the wacky, family-focused art explosion at ArtBox. Open since February, the exhibition continues until September, and it’s well worth getting along to check it out if you haven’t yet – doubly so if you’ve got some kids in tow.Christchurch Art Gallery Deputy Director Blair Jackson says the exhibition offers a vivid sense of artists as makers — asking questions, taking risks and exploring the possibilities of their materials.“That crazy title really does sum up what the exhibition is all about — the shape-shifting, experimental and seriously playful work of making art,” he says. “This is very much one for children and families to make the most of.”Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker (try saying it five times fast) sees...