The Arts scene in Christchurch is exciting, inspiring and ever evolving. Amazing street art murals, re-opened public art galleries, and quirky events and entertainment are all there to be discovered.
The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu is Canterbury’s largest art gallery, with a huge collection of classic and contemporary pieces. Moving through the space, the gallery showcases much loved pieces from local, national and international artists, as well as travelling exhibitions. The way the gallery has curated some of the works has been thought about in a different way, challenging the way art is traditionally displayed and viewed.
After the 2011/12 earthquakes, the gallery was lifted off its foundations, and base isolators fitted, providing peace of mind for travelling exhibitors that their work will be safe in a seismic event.
CoCA, the Centre of Contemporary Art hosts a collection of works, and hosts performances by contemporary artists. The galleries mission is to intrigue and inspire, and start conversations about art and how it is processed by the community.
Street Art has changed not only the way the city looks, but also people’s perception about large scale graffiti art in public spaces. Large murals have been painted on walls around the inner city, and the scale and skill of the works have to be seen to be believed. The large murals in the city run as part of the street art festive Spectrum, part of Oi You! Festival creator George Shaw’s project.
Grass roots movement Gap Filler arose after the earthquakes as a way to fill in black inner city spaces and draw people in to the inner city. Although many of the gap filler projects are temporary, some of the favourites have found more permanent spaces, such as the Dance O Mat and The Commons.
New Regent Street is home to The Auricle, a gallery dedicated to sound art. The Auricle has a monthly exhibition and regular performance programme featuring local, national and international sonic artists in its octophonic gallery. The Auricle provides a relaxed space for challenging listening and a regular live venue for performative audio experimentation.
The Physics Room is a space dedicated to contemporary art in Christchurch. This big open loft space above C1 Café hosts a rage of exhibitions from artist talks to new and emerging artists’ shows.