Wellbeing facility inspires major artwork

Wellbeing facility inspires major artwork

The final, striking elements of an artwork by Wayne Youle will be installed this week on the outside of CPIT Aoraki's Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility). The official launch of the commission will coincide with the CPIT Aoraki Community Open Day on 23 January at 1.30pm.

The installation follows Youle's celebrated Alone Time work for the recently re-opened Christchurch Art Gallery.

Entitled THE HOUSE OF WELLBEING ALL WELCOME, the artwork was inspired by the activities that take place in the Whareora, which opened in February 2015. The building houses a recreation centre, sports court, The Zone elite fitness facility, applied science sports labs and learning spaces, the Next Step Centre for Women, a community health centre and Workskills for supported training. 

Youle's artwork is made up of ten individual elements of sculpture, painting, light works and 3D relief.

Wayne Youle's artwork, THE HOUSE OF WELLBEING ALL WELCOME, for CPIT Aoraki is installed ahead of an official launch this Saturday 23 January.

"There is a diversity of materials and a diversity of story, but as a whole work it is a homage to a place and an environment where, fingers crossed, people are coming to daily to make themselves just better people. And whatever field that takes, and whatever commitment that is, is entirely up to the individual - and it provides an interesting work," Youle says.

Students may interact with the artwork without realising it, he says. "There are two real key elements – there is the seat and the two fountains which are practical artworks in themselves."

Other elements include an oversized human figure, intended to be unfinished ("I wanted it to be the idea of the start of a process," Youle says) and a figure of suffragette Kate Sheppard wearing artist Margaret Stoddart's colourful hat. "There is this acknowledgement to the doggedness, the determination of the betterment of women, but then there is that playful side of things and that artistic side of things..."

As a Māori artist (Ngapuhi, Ngati Whakaeke and Ngati Pakeha) Youle was inspired by the Māori word for wellbeing: 'ora'.

"It is a house of betterment. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, all those things - so I wanted to have a little nod to that." 

The commission is part of the institute's plan to create more attractive and stimulating campuses for learners, staff and communities. Youle's interactive artwork will be a valuable addition to Madras Street that will challenge perceptions and contribute to Christchurch's collection of public art. 

 Campus improvement plans also include proposed landscaping and new signage to create attractive and functional spaces for students, staff and the public.

Youle is well known in Christchurch for his post-earthquake, shadow-board style, outdoor work I seem to have temporarily misplaced my sense of humour (2012), in Sydenham. His work is held in national museums and public galleries throughout New Zealand.  

The Whareora was the first new building to be completed in CPIT Aoraki's 10 year Campus Master Plan programme of construction and refurbishment which modernise learning spaces on both campuses of the institute. 

For more information:

I Seem to Have Temporarily Misplaced my Sense of Humour: http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/multimedia/artist-interviews/wayne-youle

Time Alone: http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/multimedia/audiotour/wayne-youle-2