Weekend wanderings

As you can probably tell from the sudden drop-off in blog posts, life is very much back into the normal pattern of work, work, and more work, and feeling like there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything done I want to (and term hasn’t even started yet, so there’s still study to add to the mix…).  Although I was actually intending to sit down and write a blog post on Sunday afternoon… and then the power went off.  So I read a book instead 🙂
I spent Saturday exploring the central city.  The RISE festival is on, so there’s all sorts of interesting street art springing up in unexpected places, as well as the usual constant flux that is central Christchurch, as the demolition (and very occasional rebuilding) continues.  Always something new to see.
“Official” street art (if that’s not a contradiction):

This artwork, Julia Morison’s ‘Tree Houses for Swamp Dwellers’, has been around for a while, but for some reason I’ve never stumbled across it before now:

I think this hi-viz-wrapped tree has been around even longer (I’m sure I saw photos of it ages ago), but again, the first time I’ve seen it in the “flesh”:

And then there’s the unintentional art of partially-demolished buildings:

The flooded basement of that one held a surprise. Along with the usual contingent of road-cones and rubbish tossed over the fence, a pair of ducks.  I had to look twice to check they weren’t real, but no, they’re hunting decoys.  I love these little touches of humour that brighten up the rubble in random places.

The Town Hall was never a pretty building, but it has a weird attractiveness these days in its overgrown state:

I discovered a few new-to-me Gapfiller sites in my wandering, too.
The Sound Garden, with instruments made from recovered/recycled materials:

This was my favourite – bells made from old fire extinguishers (it was amazingly well tuned!):

The Weaveorama asks passersby to weave in any random materials they want, to create a collective artwork.  It’s already full of weird and wonderful things – as well as fabric and plastic strips, and bits of plants, there were things like bus tickets and even a couple of jandals woven in.  The woman who designed it was working on it while I was there, so I stopped for a chat.  She commented that they hadn’t had a bra woven in yet – on Monday I saw someone tweeting a photo of it, and sure enough, there was a bra…

She had a bag of fabrics with her, so I added a few strips of it as my contribution:

Near Alice’s there’s a bike safety training course, again made out of recovered materials:

I went and had a look at the cardboard cathedral (we’re supposed to call it the “Transitional Cathedral” now, but the cardboard name has stuck :-))

It looks quite good from the outside, but what struck me inside is that they’ve got it arranged the wrong way.  It tapers in from the wide “stained-glass” (it’s just printed, not proper stained glass) end, to a narrower end that is plain, with just a large cross made of cardboard tubes decorating it.  And they’ve put the altar at the narrow boring end, so all the seats of course face that way.  Which seems all wrong to me, if the aim of religious architecture is to inspire awe in people (which is why cathedrals are always so high-ceilinged).  Standing at the altar looking back was much more awe-inspiring, with the walls broadening out, then that vast expanse of stained glass.  Instead, sitting in the seats you see the walls narrowing in and it feels like you’re in a much smaller space than you actually are.  Harvestbird, who knows such things, suggested it’s maybe because the altar is supposed to face east in Anglican churches, but (as you can see from the Port Hills behind) the cathedral’s actually aligned north-south, so that can’t be the reason.  Maybe the Bishop just is scared nobody will listen to her if there’s something more interesting to look at 🙂
Other randomness:

A pumpkin growing along the security fence around the Theatre Royal.

We’ve had pop-up malls, and pop-up cafes, now a pop-up gym in a shop in New Regent Street.

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  1. Lovely photos, I want to visit the Cathedral and also New Regent Street this time. The cathedral because the last time we visited the ruins of the old one and New Regent Street because we had only just found it before the earthquake and I love the style. Thanks for your thoughts on the changes around you and the photos are just a reminder to me of how the city is recovering.. See you soon Christchurch!!!!

  2. Some interesting things to see. Lovely photos.
    I remember walking on those steps where the spiky water features are. I like how it looks now all overgrown.
    The cardboard cathedral looks pretty amazing for a temporary structure.
    The gapfiller project has come up with some great ideas.
    I love the first street art too, with the wizard included.

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