Paint n’ Pen Street Art comes to life in Christchurch

Way back in February, you may remember the Paint n’ Pen art exhibition on Hapori in Tūranga. A partnership with The Commuting Book, it celebrated the street art of Christchurch and the creative writing that had been inspired by it. We also collaborated with Kerryn Findlater in the Graffiti Team, developing a competition for people to design their own piece of street art inspired by books onto a Chorus cabinet. The winning designs were chosen by local art critic Nathan Beaumont.

Lockdown of course put things on hold and then winter set in, but with the warmer weather, four murals have now been completed. I’m delighted to be able to present the winners to you all. Nice to think there are some new artworks in Christchurch inspired by people’s love of books.

Fairy Tern by Amor Budiyanto (Hackthorne Road)

Competition organisers received the following message from Amor’s parents:

"We would like to acknowledge you for providing the platform for Amor and considering a young artist's voice to promote awareness of NZ Fairy Tern through The Street Art. E tika ana te kōrero i ō Māori tupuna, he manu hou ia, he pī ka rere. As the Māori proverb says, he is a young bird, a chick just learning to fly. Amor is concerned about the Fairy Tern's extinction, as there are only 40 birds left in New Zealand, and enjoys the book Old Blue."

Tezuka by Haruko Furukawa  (Canon Street)

Haruko says:

"The Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka is a story about reincarnation and immortality, alternately coming and going between the ancient and the future. It consists of 12 books, each of which tell a separate, self-contained story and take place in a different era. Several of the stories have been adapted into anime series. The Phoenix, ‘bird of fire’, gives humans the power to live and power to punish. It is an unfinished story speaking of the preciousness of our life as humans, on a spectacular scale. Tezuka began ‘The Phoenix’ in 1954 and continued to work on it until his death in 1986. The stories of every era repeat, adopt new things, next conflict, then evolve, at last become a new world.  In my design the ‘red bird’ represents the passion that comes and stays in the human heart. We often ask the question, ‘Why did I get to live?’ after tragic events. We all came to Christchurch by fate. I feel the passion of post-earthquakes Christchurch City that is trying to be reborn.

Flying Books by brothers Joshua and Luke Findlater (Hoon Hay Road)

The brothers say their murals depicts “When you read, you can just disappear in your mind, it is like flying off into the sunset on a new adventure each time”.

Flinders by Zoe Ayton Shaw (Flinders Road)

And the final one completed is by Zoe Ayton Shaw (Flinders Road), who says: “My design depicts a person taking a moment in their home to read a book. There is also a bookcase in the background to emphasise their love of reading and their special reading area. I added the view of Lyttelton as it is familiar to me.”

Rose Crossland
Public Programmes Coordinator