Local Heart, Global Soul

September 16, 2018

Lady In A Cage… Impressive!

Yet another of the amazing murals in the Christchurch city centre. New Zealand artists are certainly proving their creativity. This mural was sealed off behind construction work barricades, so closer inspection was not possible, but even from afar it’s clear to see this this artists work is impressive.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 15, 2018

Lizards And Their Ghetto-Blasters, They Rock!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch visited New Zealand during the Christmas holiday of December 2017-January 2018.

I was busy catching up with family and friends in Christchurch  but of course there was a little bit of free time squeezed into our schedule for sightseeing.

By “sightseeing” I mean checking out as much of the city as we could to gain an insight into how far the city has progressed into the rebuild after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The kids were not interested in looking at “old buildings and empty stuff”, and after a series of early morning starts due our travel schedule, both were begging for a long lay in, and no early starts to our days activities.

Himself and I therefore grabbed the opportunity to check out the city whilst our offspring snored gently in their little warm nests.

There are many beautiful murals all over the city: part of a beautification plan to give the locals and visitors some colour and a smile on walls suddenly made visible by the removal of so many buildings due to quake damage. It’s also a testament to the creativity of a city and the talent of their artists.

The far side of the large Worcester Street / Oxford Terrace mural contains just as much humour as the first section I revealed here two days ago: the theme centres around bicycles and we see all manner of contraptions here; there are birds on bike, one doing that thing that all kids have done at one time or other: sticking out our arms and pretending to fly, the irony being of course that these are birds and they actually can fly.

There are giraffes’, orca’s, moles, along the bottom of the mural, and what may be a dog, capturing on film the antics of the birds and stunts by the animal in crash-helmet and gloves ready to descend the staircase on his bike. My favourite creature has to be the lizard with the ghetto-blaster, never has rendering a geometric pattern on an animal been so becoming. Building work goes on in Oxford Terrace, I’m expecting that the “new” is coming to Christchurch and maybe it’s not coming on bicycles but it’s coming fast.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 14, 2018

A Naked Cyclist And Dog’s Reaction…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yesterday’s post I talked about the mind games that the creator of the large mural near the Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace were playing on the viewer.

The mural looks like a broken off piece of something larger but on closer inspection probably isn’t.

I wonder how many people have walked past this mural and only given it a passing glance?

The artist has a wicked sense of humour and has added a few details for the viewer who takes the time to look closely at their work.

Most of the characters in this piece are on bicycles, this character is no exception.

The artist has depicted animals on the bikes and they are unclothed, as of course animals usually are.

This additional “animal” however is a human being and he is also unclothed, bar two accessory’s, a backpack and a cap.

So we have a naked cyclist. What makes this funny though is that the mole in the sunglasses races next to him totally engrossed in the race, the reaction of (What I think is) a dog behind him is completely different, he is raising his sunglasses to check that he really is seeing the bare derriere in front of him, the look on his face tells us that he wishes he hadn’t just done that.

TMI (Too Much Information) is how my kids would put it. The look on his face tells us that once seen he can no longer “unsee” what he has just seen, he wishes he could do that too.

This made me giggle, what a brilliant inclusion. I am liking this artist more and more and more. The rest of the animals in the race are concentrated on the race and  completely oblivious to this, so here we have a small story being told within the bigger story depicted on this wall. The nudity is perfectly done, a quick passing glace would see the backpack and assume clothing underneath it, there is nothing garish or trashy about the way the message about the nudity is revealed. It’s the perfect “insider” joke. Once you see it you can’t unsee it… the dog’s reaction makes me giggle again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 11, 2018

Tongues? Jukeboxes? …Other?

Around Hereford Street in the Christchurch, New Zealand city centre is yet another mural, visible now that the building next door has been demolished due to earthquake damage. Due to a small queue of traffic behind us I could only get this one fleetingly from the car. We happened to go past on another day but Himself didn’t want to stop when there were too many other cars around then too. I’m a little perplexed at what these little grey things actually are, are they little creatures with their tongues hanging out? jukeboxes? I’m stumped on this one, does anyone else have any ideas?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 9, 2018

Drawing On The Walls…

I take photographs as Himself drives us around the central city in Christchurch, New Zealand. After the 2010/11 earthquakes, over 1800 buildings were severely damaged but only two collapsed and caused loss of life (and one of those was due to an architect falsifying his credentials, and Yes, he is in jail). No building can withstand a large earthquake, especially when the city is almost directly over the epicentre and the quake is shallow and travelling at huge speed as were these quakes. What designers need to do is to make buildings that do not (immediately) collapse so that people can get out safely. Avoiding loss of life is primary, valued well above loss of the building. Therefore all these damaged buildings have been demolished and many bare walls of the few remaining ones have come to light. The city council decided to invest in artworks to give colour and inspiration to the city during the long rebuild process. This is why Christchurch is a city where it seems that everybody is drawing on the walls.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 4, 2018

Is This The Midnight Train To….?

Checking out the current state of Christchurch’s central city, I find yet another grand piece of artwork to document. There is a blue mural on the side of a parking building, close to the building that I would call “Noah’s hotel’. It’s changed its name long since to Rydges, but since I no longer live in Christchurch, or even New Zealand, I’ve never gotten used to using the new name and my brain still registers the name as Noah’s as the default setting. Apologies to Rydges.  The blue colour of not just this wall but also the car park is vibrant and immediately catches your eye, my only beef being that I can’t get close enough to zoom in and get some proper detail. Making do with what I can get, will have to do. It’s a stunning mural and credit to yet another artist who is helping make the city as beautiful as possible even as buildings have been being demolished, repaired and rebuilt all around it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 28, 2018

Painting In The Round, In A Square!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cathedral Square in Christchurch has of course the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral as it’s focal point.

With this building in a state of severe damage after the 2010/11 earthquakes, and it’s fate still being hammered out in the courts, the entire area around it remains dangerous and off limits to the public.

As has become a usual state of affairs in Christchurch city, the large area is now ringed with wooden fences to secure the site, and these fences have been amazingly decorated by artist(s).

One of the board explains: “A vast, changing canvas. In the city’s altered centre, art, storytelling and the realms of the imagination claim a vital role. Artists Chris Heaphy and Sara Hughes have unleashed colour, pattern and energy to communicate an active sense of possibility.”

Chris Heaphy’s response to this space comprises themes relating to the cultural flow and exchange of ideas. In focusing on the intersection between nature, culture and history, his ideas invite contemplation.

By laying out diverse symbols, he also creates a meeting place where dialogue and reinvention might flourish. Chris Heaphy is of Ngāi Tahu and European descent.

He is a BFA panting graduate from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (1991) and MFA painting from RMIT University, Melbourne (1998). He exhibits his works throughout New Zealand and overseas“.I like that these sort of decorated boards help a recovering city look a little less broken, a bit less like the massive building site that it is, with buildings still to come down, many more still to be repaired, and with so many empty spaces, more to be rebuilt than we can count.

Boards like these deter the ugly, messy sort of graffiti and give an injection of colour into the landscape. Hopefully the sight of many of these murals, be they on wooden board such as these, or on walls, can bring a smile to the passer-by and lighten their mood and day. I also discovered another information board where I (Duh) did not manage to photograph entirely the text and pictures. It appears that the Christchurch Cathedral has suffered at the hands of Mother Nature before, losing the top of it’s spire. I knew this already from newspaper articles directly after the 2010 quakes, or at least the photograph. I hadn’t seen this text before though and it was interesting to read the now quaint wording, the description being: “At two minutes past 4’oclock this morning,  one of the severest shocks of earthquake ever experienced have occurred.” How times have changed, and yet, looking at the Cathedral in it’s current state… not changed at all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 27, 2018

A Triangular Threesome Of Trees, Scores Points With Me…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are some new decorative pieces in Cathedral square from when we were here last.

I have a bit of a “thing” about trees and leaves at the moment, and keep a small box of dried leaves, acorns and a few twigs so that I can practice drawing.

I also take more than my fair share of photographs of trees for the same reason, it’s a fascination of form, texture and colours that for me at least never gets old.

It therefore pleases me to see a tree as one of these decorative forms, and in a way two, because the second “tree” is a sort-of-Christmas tree form, made of sheet music.

There the appeal is just the “old paper” look, it’s like viewing an old book, the kind in which the reader had to cut the pages before they could read.

The sheet music “tree” even has a top which extends past the top of the roof of the little kiosk it is located on. On the third side is another “tree” this time a very stylized one, consisting of a triangle made up of smaller triangles all in different colours.

It’s possible to walk inside this little booth, but stupidly at the moment I was going to move around and photograph the inside a tour group arrived and I got distracted. They all took up position just a few metres away from me, so naturally I could also hear the tour guides commentary.

I have to confess at this point that since it was early morning, quiet and with not too many other people around, I became guilty of eavesdropping on the information provided and it was a very interesting commentary too.

Much of it I already knew: the history of the “First Four Ships” that bought the original white settlers, their journey over the steep bridle path track over the Port Hills, but there were other snippets that were new and since they were literally metres away from me, well, my ears could not help but flap… just a little. A short time later when I was inside the “marae” (Maori meeting house structure covered in grasses, directly in front of the Cathedral, I ended up answering a few questions of several of the tour group as they explored around this area of the Square on their own. It was a mixed nationality group of mostly younger people and they were on a whirlwind tour of the city as part of their trip. They would have an afternoon to themselves later so I recommended the Gondola on the Port Hills as a possible excursion. Meanwhile the group had split up and were busy looking at the Cathedral, murals, information boards and statues in the immediate area.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2018

Kowhai And Waxeye…

Following my previous two posts I am still in the vicinity of the old Post Office in Cathedral Square, Christchurch. There is an IBIS Hotel next door and on the wall facing the Square there is a large mural. The city has exploded with creative murals on walls after the 2010/11 earthquakes and help to lighten up the barren spaces left by the demolition of more than eighteen hundred building due to earthquake damage. When entire city blocks have been wiped bare it is rather nice to see an uplifting spot of colour, humour or design. This amazing mural is one of my favourites and features one of New Zealand’s national flowers: the Kohwhai, and a sweet little waxeye, with it’s green plumage and tell-tale white ringed eye. It’s a not-so-small masterpiece and I love it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 23, 2018

Life And Hope…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Old Post Office in Cathedral Square is currently ringed by a fence so that the site and public and respectively be protected whilst repair is carried out.

The fence has been decorated by artist: Marike Uys.

I find an information board that reads: “Life and Hope”,

“Life and hope portrays a city’s regeneration after the devastation of the earthquakes.

Lines represent the continuity of life, whilst the sun and mountains are symbols of consistency in the midst of change.

Reference to Maori tukutuku (lattice work) such as Roimata (tears), Kaokao (strength) and Poutama (stairway) is incorporated in the line work.

Vibrant and strong, this artwork reflects Christchurch looking to the future with hope and expectancy” “Marike Uys is a Christchurch-based designer. Her works spans the fields of architecture, fashion and art. She employs carefully juxtaposed geometries – spare and balanced – strong forms, lively colours. often with a touch of whimsy. Marike holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Victoria University Wellington (2007).”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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