INDEPENDENT NEWS

Swinging from Sunrise to Sunset in the central city

Published: Thu 20 Jun 2019 12:42 PM
Swinging from Sunrise to Sunset in the central city this weekend.

A sunrise to sunset ‘swingathon’ is taking place in the central city this Saturday to mark the shortest day of the year on the city’s newest and brightest swing. Members of the public are invited to come along and take turns to help keep the swing swinging from dawn (8:03am) until dusk (5pm) on the shortest day of the year.
The set of giant, orange swings is a result of a new project inspired by Christchurch youth. Gap Filler, in partnership with Fletcher Living, is launching the #chchswing this Saturday with a dawn til dusk event called the Solstice Swingathon.
“It takes a lot of effort to get the biggest swing going,” says Gap Filler co-founder Ryan Reynolds. “But man, once you do, it had me laughing out loud. You must get at least 3 metres off the ground! It certainly brings out your inner-child.”
Hawke’s Bay teenager Charlie O-Brien, the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the longest continuous swing (32 plus hours in April this year) is coming especially to attend the swingathon event. “The swings look awesome - I can’t wait to give them a try,” says Charlie.
The #chchswing project was developed by Gap Filler in conversation with young people from a number of youth organisations. “From youth engagement that was happening in the city, we learned that what they felt was missing in the city were places just to hang out,” says Reynolds. “And they’re really keen on places to take photos for using on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. The #chchswing is made of two separate parts that resemble a giant photo frame. When you stand in a certain place to take a photo, the frames of the swings line up to make what looks like a giant photo frame.”
The #chchswing is one of a suite of temporary, placemaking projects for the One Central development under the banner of Placemaking at One Central. This is a partnership between Gap Filler and Fletcher Living. The projects span the five blocks between the Margarent Mahy playground and Lichfield Street and include the Detour pump track, a youth space featuring a basketball court, ping pong table and street art space, the 03 Eatery and two Good Spot community car parks.
Mark Doyle from Fletcher Living says: “It’s great to see another activation from our ‘Placemaking at One Central’ programme open in the heart of the city. Alongside the pump-track, basketball court, hammock forest and the mini-golf, the swings are another fun and healthy activity that we have introduced through our partnership with Gap Filler, for use by the growing community in central Christchurch.”
The bespoke swing was designed by Pippin Wright-Stow of F3 Design. Wright-Stow has a history of being involved with some of Christchurch’s quirky, creative projects. He designed the rooftop Sky Playground at Cathedral Grammar School, as well as Gap Filler’s Super Street Arcade and Dance-O-Mat. Of the swing he says: “It's a playground swing with a twist...and a tilt!. We set ourselves a real challenge to utilise a forced perspective spot where the frames act as a twisted square format Instagram-able surround. It's been so much fun working on a brightly coloured sculptural project that brings joy to those exploring the burgeoning inner-city.”
The #chchswing is a stone’s throw from the Margaret Mahy playground and the Detour pump track (also a Gap Filler/Fletcher Living project). “It’s yet another free, public amenity in the central city for people of all ages to enjoy,” says Reynolds. “Our aim is to contribute towards creating a vibrant central city community.”
Hot coffee and snacks will be available on site for the duration of the Solstice Swingathon event. A professional photographer will also be at the event to capture the fun with photos available to members of the public for free after the event.
[Ends]

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