Christchurch City Gallery Exhibits Charlotte Jane

Published: Tue 10 Nov 2009 04:38 PM
Date: 10 November 2009
From today, visitors to Christchurch Art Gallery will have a stunning visual reminder of the early settlers’ arrival in Canterbury onboard the Charlotte Jane.
Fiona Pardington‘s The prow of the Charlotte Jane has been enlarged to billboard scale and illuminated on the Gallery’s giant lightbox on Worcester Boulevard as part of the continuing Outer Spaces series.
Pardington’s photograph features a representation of the first of the four ships that carried the English settlers into Lyttelton Harbour in December 1850.
One hundred years after the 99 day voyage, Christchurch glass-blower John Rowe, a descendant of one of the passengers, used his trade skills to recreate a scale model of the ship.
While the model was later lost, Rowe was able to create a replica, which today resides in Canterbury Museum. It was there that The prow of the Charlotte Jane was photographed by Pardington.
Blair Jackson, Acting Director of Christchurch Art Gallery says the image Fiona Pardington has captured is no ordinary photograph.
"Magnified to this billboard scale, the fine threads of Rowe’s original glass become as thick and imposing as a real ship’s rigging.
"The ship appears to float in a sea of darkness. Combined with the glow of the glass, the Charlotte Jane is transformed in to a ghost ship."
A second, gallery-scale photograph of the Charlotte Jane by Pardington has just been acquired for the collection, and will be one of the works to be found at the very heart of Brought to Light (which opens on 28 November).
*Fiona Pardington’s The prow of the Charlotte Jane is on display as part of the Outer Spaces series at Christchurch Art Gallery until November 2010.

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