Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art in Unexpected Places

One of my favourite shots of Michael Parakowhai's Bull - looking ready to charge the portaloos.

He makes a good billboard too, outside the still-closed Christchurch Art Gallery.

I walked around inner city Christchurch last weekend and found myself photographing some of the many art works that have sprung up since the 2010 earthquake They are many and diverse, and I've photographed a lot of them many times, at different times of day (and night), in different weather. I like that we can do this now - that we have this sudden intimacy with contemporary artworks away from the more formal confines of an art gallery. It brings them to life in new ways I think.
I haven't names all the works I've shown here - mostly because I've either forgotten who the artist is, or, more likely, it's Sunday and I can't be bothered digging around in my files to find out. But I have gathered these images for visual pleasure - and to remind people everywhere that not everything about earthquake-stricken Christchurch is grey and glum and broken.
This is a fabulous display of photographs and texts related to the Christchurch earthquakes - interviews with those who have lived through the worst of it. It stretches along Worcester Boulevard and if you're in Christchurch, it's definitely worth a long look.
I like that the ability to decorate our battered city isn't restricted to the art elite. There's a ton of street art showing up, illuminating dark corners, and this series of works outside the broken (and closed) Christchurch Arts Centre - by school kids I'd say.
Dick Frizzell's marvellous work, set off beautifully by towering cranes and the skeletal beginnings of a new rebuild.
And a wider view, showing my favourite yellow work on the rear of Christchurch Art Gallery - artist's name forgotten and I'm too lazy to get out of my chair to find the appropriate issue of the gallery mag. part of the gallery's Outer Spaces series anyway.
""Fly me up to where you are" by Tiffany Singh, suspended outside the Christchurch City Council - and nicely reflected in the glazed facade.
Another work - I think - from Christchurch Art Gallery's Outer Spaces series called 'Faces from the Collection." Artist unknown.
"Faux Arcadia" by Michaela Cox, high on an exposed concrete block wall at the intersection of High and Hereford Streets.
Street art, Restart Mall
Street art, Restart Mall
The painted aerial pedestrian walkway over Colombo Street - or part of.

Another from "Faces in the Collection" - this one by Michael Smither.
I like the way it sits beside advertisements for hayfever and allergy medications on the outside of a Cashel Mall pharmacy.
And perhaps my favourite shot of all - One of Neil Dawson's sculptures, sitting on a cordoned off patch of grass like a strange space ship clone. It used to hang over Cashel Mall before the earthquakes. Now it sits here under the trees, behind the cordoned off Otautahi building, waiting for a new beginning.
We all do a lot of waiting around here.
So it's nice to have interesting things to look at.
We could be waiting a lot longer yet.
For repairs.
For a new city.


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