Visitors to Christchurch will immediately be struck by the sheer number of buildings (1,240) which have come down since the 2011 earthquake. But colour is slowly creeping back into this re-emerging city.
George Shaw – organiser of the Spectrum Street Art festival – has added a huge amount of energy into this changing urban landscape.
Held between February and May, the Spectrum Street Art festival has an indoor exhibition at the city’s YMCA. The artists brought in for the show also transform blank city walls into works of art. As I drove around the city, my eye was continually drawn from one piece of street art to another.
Highlights from the exhibition include Milton Springsteen’s transformation of thrift-art work into modern statement piece, and from France, Tilt has a panic room which features tags and colour on one side, coupled with the largest exhibition of Banksy prints in the southern hemisphere on the other.
And then there’s the Larger Than Light room, which sees eight leading graffiti artists create six metre high pieces using only one shade of colour.
While the exhibition is a marvel to behold, it’s the impact of the art on the streetscape which holds the memories for me and lights up this city which came so close to darkness just three years ago.