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Temporary installations enliven Christchurch

Charlotte Thieme
Hagley light installation
Art installation by Hagley College Year 10 students  Arwen Sommer

A Christchurch City Council initiative is turning empty spaces into enlivened places in the Central Business District

The ShoPOP project, funded by City Council Initiative "Enliven Places" has brightened up empty storefronts along Durham Street North and Tuam Street.

This newest facet of Christchurch City's street art movement proved to engage the community more than ever.

The Christchurch City Council opened up submissions for "Enliven Places" in March this year, before it took submitted concepts to social media to be voted upon in May.

Three of the five finalists were chosen via public Facebook poll, and now, they stand loud and proud along two inter-city streets. 

One of the chosen pieces, "Light It Up!" was submitted by Year 10 Students at Hagley Community college, reflecting Christchurch's architecture, and "the bright future of our city." 

City Councillor for the Christchurch Central, Deon Swiggs, said that "It gives the sense that something's happening in the city, that we're moving forward, that we're not just a broken city, that we're not just a pile of rubble.

"Street art came out in our city straight after the earthquakes, and it just really livened it up, gave a bit of energy to the city."
Results from a survey conducted by All-Stars Inn/backpackers on Bealey Avenue in 2017 showed that street art was a redeeming feature for Christchurch in the eyes of tourists.

Visitors described the city as "depressing," and "a mess" but praised the city's quirky installations.

The 3 temporary pieces will be dotted up and down Durham and Tuam until October this year. 

City Councilor Deon Swiggs on 'Enliven Places'

Video by Arwen Sommer, interview with Charlotte Thieme