Posts Tagged ‘arts’

These poles on the corner of Worcester Street and Latimer Square intrigued me, so I went over to ask what was happening.

I found a group of Gap Filler people who are creating a living willow sculpture.  The concept had been designed by Ara students, and the finished work is expected to remain there for two years (or maybe longer if Fletchers take their usual time with building).  It’s all part of transitional plans for the East Frame.

This reminds me of a time many years ago when my brother, who was an amateur radio enthusiast, installed a tall willow pole as a mast outside his sleep-out.  This very quickly sprouted leaves and grew into a sizeable tree.  I’ll be most interested to see how the new living sculpture develops.

‘The willow tree is versatile
and can be planted sculpture style.’



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This beautiful sculpture by Neil Dawson graces the front wall of the Methodist Church National Office in Papanui.

The design is made up of dozens of doves flying upwards to reflect the shape of an unfurling flower, or a heart.  Where there are two doves together they look like angels.

It’s hard to photograph in the daytime because it’s silver on a pale wall, but I’m told that at night it is lit up and looks amazing.

“By symbolising peace, the dove
reflects the church’s way of love.”

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On the Arts Centre’s north quad there is a community of bubbles.

Conduct Cumulus by Seung Yul Oh is intended to honour the extraordinary actions and energies of Christchurch citizens, working individually and collectively through self-determined groups and communities of interest to rebuild their city post-quakes.  When one bubble meets another the resulting union is always one of total sharing and compromise.

“Each bubble wants to be a sphere
as to another they adhere.”

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The mural in Press Lane is now complete, and includes signs alluding to what was there before.

Along the lane is printed the ‘Press’ motto  Nihil utile quod non honestum.  It was impossible for me to get a photo of the whole thing because the lane is narrow.

“I like the way the lane can be
an aid to people’s memory.”

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“Are you being looked after?” is a project by Otautahi Korerotia (OK), being held in The (new) Physics Room, next to the Christchurch Art Gallery.   OK is a space for art and education where different communities can make work and exchange ideas about and across difference.  They have previously organised exhibitions and events in the Avon Loop Community Cottage.

Today’s hui was to welcome people to the space and build relationships, making the gallery more like an early human cave or Maori wharenui.

OK at The Physics Room

Participants were asked beforehand to think about a moment where a gallery, artwork, or museum had changed something for them, be that a realisation, strong feeling of power, fear, belonging, exclusion, or other motivation.  These experiences were shared around the group.  I spoke about feminist art, from being part of Juliet Batten’s 100 Women project in 1985, to the installation by Julia Morrison that I saw this week.  After sharing food the group went on to create posters for the Gallery windows, while I headed for home on a drizzly day.

“This avant garde artistic group
base many projects in the Loop.”



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To mark the 125th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Aotearoa the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu has mounted an exhibition called “We Do This”, featuring works by women from their collection.  I didn’t have time in a recent visit to see them all, but I loved Julia Morison’s ‘Teaching Aid #1: Appropriate Brushes for Large Flower Paintings’.

Appropriate Brushes

This is a collection of giant paintbrushes, coated in paint, and arranged to look like giant exotic blooms (or possibly floor mops).  The work acknowledges the female art tradition of flower painting as well as women’s traditional cleaning role.

Each brush has a plaque beside it with an historic quote about women’s painting, e.g. “The forest and wild flowers fade away forever before the march of civilisation; and it is only by such pictures as Miss North’s that the majesty and wonder of one, and the gorgeousness and delicacy of the other, can be recorded or adequately suggested.” – H V Barnett on Miss Marianne North’s Paintings at Kew, in ‘Magazine of Art’, 1882.

The exhibition will remain until May 2019, and I shall definitely go again.

“I’m pleased to see this women’s art
displayed within the city’s heart.”


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Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu currently has an exhibition by local artist Tony de Lautour.  Many of his paintings are protests against colonialism and the condition of those marginalised by society, with various symbols used repeatedly.  Large canvases such as ‘Underworld’ are overwhelming in their detail.


I prefer his ‘Badlands’ with attractive mountains inside a message about global corporations.


A painting that appealed to me was ‘Central Planning’, the artist’s 2013 reaction to CERA’s plan where too many ideas cancelled each other out.

Central Planning

This is a thought-provoking exhibition, well worth a visit, and it’s on until 16 September.

“I like political art
engaging both the mind and heart.”

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