Local Heart, Global Soul

September 19, 2018

Cramner Courts; The Inevitable…

One set buildings I hoped would be saved after the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, were the beautiful Cramner Courts buildings on the northern end of Cranmer Square. I wrote a post about it here: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/new-848/ Cramner Courts: The Wrecking Ball Becomes a Hot Potato…
Sadly the inevitable happened and when I photographed the site in January 2018, this is what I found: a mostly empty site but evidence that preparations were being made for a large modern building. (the building with the light blue windows and the smaller buildings with the grey roofs are actually set back further than they seem from this camera angle.)

The empty section was difficult to photograph because we were the lead car in our lane going though the series of bends that the One Way street takes, and we had other vehicles next to and behind us. The shape of the modern building distinctly echo’s the of the historic building it replaces, with a round room on the corner, just as the previous one had had and triangle shapes in the roof line in almost exactly the same place as the old building too. The white building across the road from the Cramner Court was called Chateau Blanc and belonged to the Clarion Hotel chain (also documented in the post above), is to my amazement now completely gone, only the small hedge and tiny piece of white wall remains. It will be interesting to see what happens with this plot of land too. There are at least on one side, literal and physical “developments”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have turned out of Cranmer Square and are headed towards Victoria Street…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 17, 2018

Christ’s College, Museum Are The Real … Arts Centre!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heading out of the Christchurch, New Zealand central city, you only have to go half a dozen blocks in the direction of Hagley Park before you hit some buildings that display some stunning architecture.

These are: The Arts Centre (formerly Christchurch’s first university: Rutherford, famous for splitting the atom studied here.), the Museum and next to it (diagonally across the road), Christ’s College, a private school for boys directly next to the museum.

Their late 1800’s – turn of the century architecture is stunning, and the 2010 /11 earthquakes that shook the city damaged them all severely.

The museum got off the lightest having been earthquake strengthened before the quakes, so recovered from it’s damage the fastest.

Christ’s College had a part of the inner quadrangle collapse, sadly it’s not visible from the road so there is no way to see how it is not, suffice to say that it has been repaired.

The Arts Centre however is having a tougher time. It receives no Government funding so relies entirely on public donations for the truly massive rebuild / restoration that needs to take place.

The Great Hall, famous for it’s amazing interior and wooden roof has been repaired, strengthened to a high standard and is open to the public once more.

The Great Hall is available for hire for large gatherings so I can but hope people in and around Christchurch are thinking of supporting this building when looking for a place for their next special event.

The turret that was laying on the ground on our last visit is back in place but other turrets, and other parts of the Arts Centre have to wait their turn until funds can be raised. This is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, seeing it back to it’s former glory would be a proud moment for the people of Christchurch.

(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 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 13, 2018

This Artist Is Playing Mind Games…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heading out of Cathedral Square towards Hagley Park, I discover yet another whimsical mural.

The creativity of New Zealand’s artists is amazing, and this one is no exception.

Even in the composition there are little tricks and whimsical elements. For instance, I thought at first that this mural had originally been much larger because figures and items get cut off at the top.

The closer you look however, the more it seems that this was purposely made to look this way.

A penguin hides around one of the top corners, other decorative elements are painted on other rear walls but can only been seen when viewed from certain angles.

The artist is having fun with the viewer, everywhere there are clues that the “incomplete” look has been done on purpose.

The main theme is that of various animals on bikes, every animal sporting a panel of geometric shapes, diamond, squares, brick pattern or in one case, clouds either in part or in whole.

The mural is large and contains many complex figures so I have divided it in two to hopefully do it justice.

Here we see a median strip, and a gorilla, sloth, ram ride all manner of bikes, the blue cloud figure possibly being a bear.

The brick patterned rhino sits at the bottom, with only the top half seen we don’t know if he is on a bike or not.

For some reason the walrus escaped the geometric pattern treatment, he tows behind his bike what looks to be a small trailer with record players and speakers. The empty space in front of it stretches from the old post office in Cathedral Square, along Worcester Street to the edge of the river on Oxford Terrace, so many buildings lost to the 2010/11 earthquakes. There were two cinemas, and multiple shops, all gone. Luckily this mural gives us a quirky mix of geometric figures on bicycles to bring a smile.

(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)

September 12, 2018

Sewing Wheat In the Heart Of The City…

On the intersection in Christchurch, New Zealand where Colombo and Hereford Streets met the pedestrian end of High Street there used to be a famous, iconic fountain that everyone knew as a landmark. As such it was the target of at least one dye or detergent prank every few years and I’m not sure exactly when it was removed: before or after the 2010/11 earthquakes. near to the spot where it once stood is a new statue, one I like very much. Looking like a small bundle of stalks of wheat, this has style, simplicity, inspiration from nature and is, in my eyes anyway, beauty. As in yesterdays post we couldn’t stop for better photos because of traffic, be we went past twice during our tours of the inner city so I had two attempts at close ups. I’m thinking that maybe the “grains” of wheat are also lamps, making this light up at night, but haven’t seen it in darkness so can’t confirm that.

(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 10, 2018

Rebuilding: All Stages Of Development…

Himself and I are continuing our tour of the Christchurch central city. These photographs are mainly for my “rebuild” photograph album, so that I can one day in the future make a post as much as possible of the “before” and “after” process of how an entire central city is rebuilt after a natural disaster, almost from scratch. We see that even though these photographs were taken in January 2018 and the quakes were in 2010/11, that the process is a long one. Insurance, demolition ( remember, not one building was bought down with explosives because they were too structurally unsound to bore holes for charges) so each building was demolished via the “nibble” technique. This where cranes dismantle them from the top down, one piece at a time. Then come the design stages, planning permissions and finally the rebuild can start to take place. It seems a long time, but mass scale also plays a part, Christchurch currently has workers come from as far away as Ireland to fill the skilled construction labour shortage that arose here.

(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)

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)

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