The art piece was created by Peter Majendie on the one-year anniversary of the fatal disaster, where 185 empty white chairs portrayed those who passed in the event. The inspiration came from a similar art piece; a holocaust memorial in Germany that showcased 140 empty chairs.
The installation moved to various locations over the years, most recently being kept where the St. Luke's Anglican Church used to stand before it fell in the 2011 earthquake. Unfortunately, there had to be an end to the art, with a massive expense and a lack of space to put it, as well as the current property selling recently. The chairs saw their final day last Saturday, and people were encouraged to come collect a chair to take home.
Majendie said it was sad, but it was time for it to go.
"I’m happy for people to come and get their own chair. The museum is getting a chair, so they will be represented in the new museum. I think this is the best option.”
He also talked about the importance of the memorial.
“Because it was up on the first anniversary, I think it was a place to come. It took six years to get the national earthquake memorial, so I think this place was way ahead of that, it offered a place for people to reflect and contemplate.”