Graduate's art project revitalises city

Graduate's art project revitalises city

A CPIT student’s public art project has been so successful that the talented designer has plans to re-create the event this year.

Holly Ross, 28, was completing her Bachelor of Design degree at CPIT last year when she decided to “revitalise the city” with large-scale artworks.

“I just wanted to make something happen to bring some life back into a lot of the buildings around Christchurch,” she says.

Over the next few months Ross organised the project, which she called ‘From the Ground Up’.

Many of the building owners whom she approached to have their walls painted were unsure about the project.

Ross also arranged sponsorship from a wide range of businesses, including City of Ink and Dulux.

From the ground up

“I’m not really a saleswoman so it was at times more difficult to convince them of what we wanted to do. Some were really happy where others were a bit more apprehensive and wanted to know exactly what we would paint,” she says.

From the Ground Up brought together artists from all over New Zealand to transform a number of large-scale walls around Christchurch.

In all, twenty walls were all painted during a week in December by a range of artists, including Ross. CPIT was one of those who chose to have their wall transformed with the bright and bold artworks which included animals, birds, words and faces.

 Ross says the reaction to the art since December had been very positive.

“We’ve had a really great response. People have really enjoyed what we’ve done,” Ross says. “I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

 “Some of the buildings will have to be demolished and one is already being built in front of, but we understand that the art form is generally temporary in nature, as is the state of Christchurch at the moment.

Ross is now working full time as a designer in Christchurch, but hopes to re-create the event this year.

“I think it will be easier this year as we have done it before. We’d like to do more buildings outside the central city so that they will be able to keep the artwork for longer. We’d like the art to stay there as long as possible.”