Monday, December 10, 2012
A Diminishing City
After the drama and horror of a fire in closed-off High Street on Friday night, it felt like time to wander the city again. The building, still smouldering on Saturday morning, is thought to have been a target of arson and already machinery was making short work of dangerous debris.
The rear view of High Street has always been dramatic since the earthquakes - even more so now. It seems a miracle to me that anything of it can be saved but I believe the facades at least, will be salvaged.
"Buy Me, Don't Bowl Me""
This sign has been attached since I last photographed this High Street remnant. Looking like something out of the Wild West, this cute little building is the only one left in this section of High Street. It was once home to The National (contemporary jewellery gallery), which is now located in the Ng Gallery building a block away.
This splodge of pink paint has been taunting me for months and I'd been meaning to photograph it much earlier. Just as well I wandered this way on Saturday because the whole complex is being demolished (see below) and by now, it may have vanished.
Demolition in a back street.. There's no rest for the demolition teams now - many of them are working seven days a week and when you contemplate the fact that only 900 of the fated 1600 inner city buildings have so far been demolished, it makes you wonder how bereft our city will be by the completion of earthquake demolitions.
A lone, tall soldier but yes, I do believe this building is also coming down. As with so many, it's more a question of 'when' rather than 'if.'
For all the sadness attached to the demolition of inner city Christchurch, I still can't help being photographically inspired by the sparsity and stripped-down nature of the cityscape.
Especially when Nature obliges with dramatic big skies
A twist of iron, a tangle of reinforcing, a ruptured wall.
And the unintentional 'works of art,' the temporary sculptural forms that stand defiantly against the skyline - at least until the next crane happens along.
But for all the ruin, as this mural declares
"You Can't Keep a Good Town Down"
And all over the city there are industrious pockets of reconstruction gaining traction.
And there are works of art
Providing a bright punctuation point in an otherwise dreary sea of grey.
I hope it's a continuing trend - that we'll end up with bright building walls all over the city.
I think of them as visual memorials.
Memorials to all that went before
September 4, 2010.