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Vibrant new artworks for New Brighton

The two new artworks that will be enlivening the New Brighton foreshore have been selected. Congratulations are in order for two local New Brighton artists – the winners of the Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton open call competition – whose submissions inspired a panel of local representatives which included community members, key organisations including the local RSA and art experts. The selection was made from a vast array of outstanding entries.

The winning submissions from artists, Nathan Ingram and Josh O’Rourke, will have their work produced on a basketball court surface and mural wall respectively, just south of the New Brighton pier.

The Re:ACTIVATE 2018: New Brighton competition, run by SCAPE Public Art in conjunction with Development Christchurch (DCL) Ltd as part of an initiative for regeneration in New Brighton. The aim, to revitalise the foreshore and commercial areas, to attract new residents and visitors and provide improved public amenities to the seaside suburb. It recognises urban art as a means to stimulate locals to engage with their community. The coastal suburb was hit hard by the Canterbury quakes, but is re-emerging as a creative hub with a vibrant art and street art scene.

Selection of artworks for the New Brighton site seems to have reflected a very grass-roots, community-led feeling, being informed by the spirit of New Brighton and its people. It began with the hosting of the Re:ACTIVATE Public Art Development workshop at Grace Vineyard Church – Beach Campus, where a selection of local and expert speakers inspired the group of artists. Artists then submitted their proposal and after lively discussion by the panel, the winners were selected.

Re:ACTIVATE offers an exciting opportunity for emerging or mid-career artists to have all elements of the public art delivery process supported. The winning artists will have involvement in the production process and have their public art realised on a large-scale in a public space.

SCAPE Public Art Director, Deborah McCormick is proud to be contributing to the regeneration of New Brighton, offering something that SCAPE specialises in and is relevant to the local area. She said of the selected artworks, “Both of these works have strong visual impact, and will be unmissable and add a wow-factor to their site. But what made these even more special for us, was their link to the local area and story they tell of the mana whenua and the coastal beach environment.”

DCL Chief Executive Rob Hall says it's great to see local artists recognised by Re:ACTIVATE.
"The new artworks will be a great addition to New Brighton and DCL is pleased to work with SCAPE to help bring this project to the seaside village and contribute to the wider efforts to regenerate the sea front and commercial core,” he said.

Josh O’Rourke’s wall mural has visibly taken inspiration from the local environment – specifically the weather that impacts on the coastal area. An abstract version of a topographic weather map, it symbolises weather systems and the huge impact they have on residents and visitors – often dictating whether they have a good or bad experience which has a flow-on effect economically for the area. As a surfer himself, the artist has a close connection to these weather patterns which is relevant to many people who will pass by and view the artwork.

O’Rourke is a graduate of University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts, in Painting. He has exhibited widely throughout Christchurch and New Zealand, this will be his first large-scale outdoor artwork.

The design by Nathan Ingram – artist pseudonym Dr Suits – features abstract and geometric forms in bold colours which represent the traditional Māori concept of forces of nature that define the unique character of New Brighton. The dunes, the wind, the place where the sea meets the sky – the place and home for him and others who live there.

Ingram has a Bachelor of Design in Applied Visual Arts from Ara Institute, and extensive experience in fashion and design industries.

The local selection panel were impressed by the calibre of entries. Art historian Reuben Woods
was part of the panel who decided the winners. “We received some outstanding entries and enjoyed a lively discussion at the selection workshop before coming to a decision. We are delighted with the outcome and are looking forward to working with the selected artists, both local residents, on realising their proposals and transforming the South of the Pier area,” he said.

Work will begin on-site in early November 2018.

© Scoop Media

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