Space Time Continuum
A jam-packed SCAPE Public Art Season launches this month to flood the city with art, with the season opening on October 7 and running through until November 18. This year’s theme is Time in Space (territories and flow), with curator Heather Galbraith aiming to celebrate artworks that explore how different understandings of time and alternative ways of recounting histories combine to shape a sense of place. A host of pieces will be on show, including sculpture, photography, performances, and even an art-towing plane to keep an eye on the sky for! Check out the highlights:
The Old and the New – Ana Iti
Wellington-based artist Ana Iti (Ngāpuhi) has created a new work in response to the history and aspirations of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. You’ll spot The Old and the New outside the Ilex Plant Nursery in the gardens themselves; the work compiles fragments from an article in The Sun newspaper in 1915 and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Management plan 2007 in a graphic collaboration produced with designer Gemma Banks.
Myopia 2017 and Acquiesce 2017 – Anton Parsons
Two of leading Kiwi sculptor and long-time SCAPE collaborator Anton Parsons’ works will be on display at the Christ’s College Quadrangle. Myopia 2017 (pictured) explores ideas about distance and perceptions of the world, with raised aluminium rounds spelling “myopia” and “hyperopia” in braille, while Acquiesce 2017 also features patterning that is in braille, but with text that is more ambiguous in meaning.
Terminal Blue – Tom Dale
UK-based artist Tom Dale’s piece Terminal Blue literally takes to the skies; the work consists of a giant paint chart sky banner with the names of Resene paint colours (varied from grey to blue) flown behind a plane. Keep an eye on the skies in the morning and afternoon of October 7; following that the sky banner itself will be flown more terrestrially from the Structex Building at 248 Montreal Street.
In/Visible Landscape – Wayne Barrar
Christchurch-born artist Wayne Barrar’s (Associate Professor at the School of Art at Massey University)In/Visible Landscape 2017 will be displayed at seven locations around Hagley Park and on the outside of the Canterbury Museum – the last an appropriately scientific setting for these fascinating photos that explore the extraction, arrangement and circulation of diatomite deposits (tiny silica skeletons that are the remnants of ancient algae and other life forms) and other microfossils for scientific study.
The Glass Pavilion, Terminator T-Rex & Lost World: Triceratops – Gregor Kregar
Auckland-based Gregor Kregar has contributed a number of works to seek out this season; the handmade glass bricks, recycled wood and repurposed neon of site-responsive work The Glass Pavilion (pictured top, corner of Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace), the playful Terminator T-Rex at the Arts Centre, and another dino near the Casino in the form of Lost World: Triceratops.
Gallery 91 2017 – Julia Holderness & Petrena Fishburn
In 1959, the Brookes established the city’s first contemporary dealer gallery at 91a Cashel Street, showing work by artistic trendsetters such as McCahon, Mrkusich and Woollaston, among others. Through re-making and re-presentation of archival Gallery 91 material, contemporary artists Julia Holderness and Petrena Fishburn examine this slice of the city’s artistic history. An audio work via the SCAPE App is geotagged to the gallery’s original location at 91 Cashel Street, while the Christchurch Art Gallery holds more work that draws on the gallery in Gallery 91 2017.
KAOKAO – Robert Jahnke
Professor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University, Palmerston North-based Robert Jahnke (Ngai Taharora, Te Whanau a Iritekura, Te Whanau a Rakairo o Ngati Porou) creates works in a range of mediums that tilt at our established Eurocentric narration of New Zealand’s history and champion Māori perspectives. His KAOKAO will be installed in High Street outside of Little High Eatery, and is a bold modern interpretation of a traditional Māori tukutuku chevron pattern. The form brings two crosses together, with a bilateral inversion creating the ‘K’ figure associated with Polynesian art.
All images courtesy of the artists.
'ARE Pasifika Art by Tram
(Fri 3 Nov, 6 – 7:30pm) This guided tour of the city’s fantastic public art, hosted by artist and SCAPE 2017 contributor Nina Oberg Humphries, jumps aboard the tram to explore both the temporary and permanent (legacy) pieces of SCAPE.
Taking place every Thursday and Saturday from Oct 8 until the conclusion of this year’s season, these walks (which depart from the Rolleston statue on Rolleston Avenue) are your chance to experience an informative tour of new and existing artworks along the SCAPE Public Art Walkway – and they’re completely free! You’ll need to book ahead, though. Also available is the Curator’s Tour, led by SCAPE curator Heather Galbraith, on opening day (Sat 7 Oct) from 2pm.
Hellers Family Event
Opening day of SCAPE 17 (Oct 7) sees a day of free art activities, giveaways, a BBQ c/o Hellers, and a performance from the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir kick things off in a fun, whanau-friendly way at the Margaret Mahy Playground. Event begins 10am; choir performance begins 11am.
This special section of SCAPE that began in 2012 puts out an open call to aspiring artists under 18; this year Charlotte Bobichon (6) and Ruby Williams (15) have had their art proposals chosen to be produced by SCAPE and displayed at full scale. Check out Charlotte’s Having a whale of a time! and Ruby’s Imprint in Hagley Park during the season.
Cityscape caught up with SCAPE Director Deborah McCormick (left) and artist and Studio 125 Gallery owner Heather Brown to chat more about SCAPE, the importance of public art, and what we can expect from this year’s season.
Tell us about this year’s theme, Time and Space (territories and flow).
DM We are celebrating artworks which explore how different understandings of time (geological, cultural, cosmological) and alternative ways of recounting histories combine to shape a sense of place.
What prompted you to get involved with SCAPE?
HB My ever-evolving growth and passion for art opened a door to support SCAPE Public Art producing Neil Dawson’s Fanfare. Once I had an insight into this project, I got really inspired about what SCAPE was doing and how magnificent it was, the integration of public art into our city.
What can you tell us about the new legacy (permanent) artwork this year?
DM It is by an artist based between Auckland and Seoul, and will be placed in the South Quad of the Arts Centre.
Why do you think public art is important for Christchurch?
HB Public art is the essence of a vibrant city – shaping creative minds, bringing people together and fostering pride of public ownership to engage and enjoy. We have the opportunity to say Christchurch is an Arts City – we are well on our way in world terms, which totally excites me. Art encourages and motivates people to respect the environment in which they live.
The Studio 125 Gallery pop up is returning this year; what’s the objective behind it?
HB Studio 125 Gallery is a multi-use shared space to work in and promote the advancement of artists and public art. A place of welcome, the gallery offers a closer connection between artists, art organisations and the public to enjoy a wide range of excellent artwork.
Antony Gormley’s works will feature in Studio 125 Gallery, this is such a massive coup – how did it come about?
DM Next year is our 20th anniversary; we have produced over 200 artworks in that time. We were honoured to produce the first presentation of Antony Gormley’s work in New Zealand and have worked very closely with him in doing so. This is really a further extension of that strong relationship and, yes, a great one for Christchurch!
What are the logistics involved in getting his works here?
DM This happens through Momart, who provide an internationally renowned art transport and art handling service to galleries, museums, artists and collectors worldwide. They are the company responsible for transporting the Crown Jewels!
What are you most looking forward to this SCAPE season?
HB Immersing myself in SCAPE 2017’s season of exciting artworks, sharing the passion and vision of artists exhibiting, and embracing the creative energy SCAPE Public Art season brings to Christchurch.
Studio 125 Gallery
The Studio 125 Gallery pop-up returns again this year after a successful run in last year’s SCAPE season. The concept converts local artist and philanthropist’s Heather Brown’s own iconic blue Merivale villa studio on Aikmans Road (opposite the Merivale Mall car park) to a public art gallery on Thursdays (3pm – 5pm), Fridays and Saturdays (10am – 4pm) with exhibited works (including sculptures, paintings, photographs, ceramics and more)offering links to SCAPE seasons past and present. This year in a first for the city, original work and editions by acclaimed UK artist Antony Gormley are on sale, along with all other exhibited works.
Hit the Android or Apple stores to grab SCAPE’s free app; this is your essential on-the-go guide to the works on show this season, with navigational tips and additional information perfect for those that want to get out and explore what’s on offer.