Students collaborate to bring colour into central Christchurch

News News & events

28 Nov 2012

Students from the University of Canterbury and CPIT have collaborated to create a colourful new mural in ReStart Mall, the inaugural Resene Art in the Streets SCAPE Christchurch Mural, which will be completed this week. 

Rachael Dewhirst, a fourth year Fine Arts student at Canterbury University, created the design for her mural Kaleidoscopic Nights in response to a opportunity created for students and artists attending the SCAPE Public Art Development Workshop in early 2012.  The workshop was held for Christchurch-based visual arts students, emerging and mid-career artists in order to cultivate the skills necessary to create public art for Christchurch.  Participants were given the opportunity to submit a design for an inner city mural and Rachael’s artwork was chosen from a range of high quality designs.  

The large (50m x 6m) size of the mural required the commissioning of a skilled team of painters to deliver the project.  A team of five CPIT Painting and Decorating students, along with students from CPIT’s Youth Guarantee pathway programme, has been working on the project over the last three weeks.  

image of Monique O'Bannon 

CPIT student Monique O'Bannon enjoyed extending her painting and decorating skills working on the SCAPE Resene Art in the Streets Christchurch mural. 

The skills required for bringing the art mural to life are similar to the skills needed for painting houses, says CPIT Painting and Decorating tutor Sandie Chamberlain. “It’s an unusual project, but it is giving them very good practice at cutting in colours, working onsite and all the health and safety that goes with that. It is very good experience and they are really enjoying it,” she said.

Resene’s South Island Regional Manager, Dave Clarkson, commended SCAPE Public Art, Rachael and the painters on the mural.  Dave says “It’s a privilege to see Rachael’s artwork transformed into a huge kaleidoscope of colour that can be enjoyed by all.  Thanks to a mammoth team effort, the artwork has become a new landmark adding vibrancy plus a sense of optimism and new life to the central city. Projects like this can only make the central city a more distinctive and attractive location.”

Resene's contribution to project 

The mural project is sponsored by Resene who have gifted over hundreds of litres of paint to the city of Christchurch for this project.  SCAPE Public Art Director, Deborah McCormick says, “SCAPE Public Art is reliant on the support of companies such as Resene for the delivery of our large scale free-to-view public artworks.  We sincerely appreciate the support of the business community, and it is important to recognise the support of companies such as Resene and Upright Scaffolding who have supported this project as an investment in the revitalisation of our city.”  

SCAPE Public Art have recently installed an artwork by New Zealand artist Joanna Langford, The High Country on Cranmer Square, and will be installing a work entitled Muegano by Mexican Hector Zamora in Kiosk Lake next to the Information Centre and Children’s Playground in the Botanic Gardens in December.