Locals embrace New Brighton foreshore art developments

Published: Tue 5 Mar 2019 01:56 PM
Locals embrace New Brighton foreshore art developments
People of all ages are set to turn out in support of two newly completed artworks presented in collaboration with SCAPE Public Art and Development Christchurch Limited (DCL)
The completed Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton artworks. Basketball court surface – Nathan Ingram FORCES 2018. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAPE Public Art. Photo by Reuben Woods. Wall mural – Josh O’Rourke Low Pressure High Pressure 2018. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAPE Public Art. Photo by Heather Milne.
The people of New Brighton have a new attraction on their doorstep to interact with and enjoy. Two vibrant new artworks – one a large mural wall, and the other a bright refresh to the basketball court surface – were completed last week with the finishing touch on Thursday coming in the form of the basketball hoop and backboard.
The artworks are the result of the Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton Emerging Artists competition, an open-call for submissions by artists of any practice and at any stage in their career. The aim of Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton was to contribute visual art pieces to the regeneration of spaces in New Brighton, so that there are more unique offerings in the neighbourhood both for locals to enjoy and to attract visitors.
SCAPE Public Art Executive Director Deborah McCormick said, “The final implementation of the artworks looks even better than we had imagined when these designs were first selected. Josh O’Rourke’s Low Pressure High Pressure is stunning – a painterly approach to street art that I’ve not come across before. And FORCES by Nathan Ingram seamlessly melds art and sport – I hope that playing basketball on an energising piece of art like this will be an immersive experience.”
“Above all, it is hoped that the new artworks will inspire people to use the space, and through the nature of the Re:ACTIVATE competition, encourage other emerging artists who come in contact with these artworks to follow their dreams and to prove that achieving things on a grand scale is possible.”
DCL Chief Executive Rob Hall said, “The site has been radically transformed by these artworks, to become somewhere inviting, where people will want to spend time. We’re proud to have been part of this initiative and are very much looking forward to rolling out our future plans to make New Brighton an even more exciting place to be.”
Both artworks are abstract-based and have taken inspiration from the forces of nature that so strongly impact on this coastline suburb, with both artists living locally in New Brighton.
The wall mural, Low Pressure High Pressure by Josh O’Rourke, is a painted watercolour blend of seafoam colours with the original concrete surface exposed to form globular rings, delineating a topographic weather map. The artist, also a keen surfer, has spent a lot of time with weather maps, predicting conditions of the day, and his artwork symbolises the impact these weather systems have on local residents and visitors in New Brighton.
O’Rourke is a graduate of University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts, in Painting. He has exhibited widely throughout Christchurch and New Zealand, this is his first large-scale outdoor artwork.
FORCES by Nathan Ingram is the second artwork which electrifies the surface of a basketball half court, hoop and backboard. The geometric designs and bold colours represent the Māori concept of ‘forces of nature’ that define the unique character of New Brighton. The dunes, the wind, the source of mahinga kai and kai moana, the place where the sea meets the sky – the place and home for him and others who live there.
Ingram has a Bachelor of Design in Applied Visual Arts from Ara Institute, and extensive experience in fashion and design industries.
To celebrate the completion of the two Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton artworks there will be a gathering on the site, South of the Pier, with a free sausage sizzle and casual basketball games organised for youngsters and older players. Everyone is welcome to come along on Wednesday 6 March, beginning at 4:30pm. It’s an opportunity to meet the artists, SCAPE and DCL teams who put the projects together, and be some of the first to experience the excitement these artworks radiate.
* SCAPE Public Art will again run Re:ACTIVATE competitions in 2019 and 2020; the first for kids/youth and the second one for emerging adult artists. Keep an eye out on SCAPE’s website in the coming months for more details on how to enter

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