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International lights shine on Christchurch

Press Release

For Immediate Release

13 November 2013

International lights shine on Christchurch

Four street lamps that have traveled to Christchurch from cities around the globe are currently being installed in the central city as part of the artwork Solidarity Grid by German artist Mischa Kuball.

Lamps from Belgrade (Serbia), Kurashiki (Japan), Sydney and Adelaide (Australia) will join the lamp from Düsseldorf, which was installed during the SCAPE 7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial.

Solidarity Grid is a creative infrastructure project for Christchurch.  The installation consists of 21 operational street lamps from around the world which are being installed over the next three years along the walkway next to the east of North Hagley Park on Park Terrace in central Christchurch. 

The city of Belgrade has donated a lamp from the Skadarlija neighborhood. Skadarlija is located in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad (old town), which is considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade.

The street lamps in Skadarlija, Belgrade.

Deborah McCormick, Director of SCAPE Public Art who is installing the artwork on behalf of the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group says, “The Serbian street lamp is an especially ornate and special lamp. We are most grateful to the city of Belgrade for this gift, which will stand as a memorial to the generosity of the Serbian people in our rebuilding city.”

The City of Adelaide has donated a Kip Retrofit LED lamppost as their contribution to Solidarity Grid.  These same lamp posts play an important role in illuminating Adelaide’s cultural boulevard, North Terrace, where visitors can view some of the best-preserved heritage architecture in Australia.

Adelaide and Christchurch are sister cities, a relationship that was formalized in 1972, with the intention of building the trade and tourism links between the cities.

Stephen Yarwood, The Lord Mayor of Adelaide says “The City of Adelaide is pleased to donate a street lamp to Christchurch as part of Solidarity Grid, to help light the way for residents and visitors to Christchurch. These are the same lights that are helping improve the safety and accessibility of our city. We are delighted to offer a symbol of our friendship during the re-build of the city after the earthquakes.”

“We are thrilled to be receiving a street lamp from our sister city, The City of Adelaide” says Anthony Wright, Chair of the Christchurch City Council’s Public Art Advisory Group, who have commissioned Solidarity Grid. “It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to one another and the strength of our relationship which encompasses not only trade and tourism, but the arts and culture.”

The City of Sydney has donated a SmartPole as their contribution to Solidarity Grid and will be installed at the Salisbury Street end of Park Terrace. The SmartPole is a pole system that is being used in Sydney’s busy streets to reduce streetscape clutter by accommodating a range of pole-mounted accessories that may include street lighting, banners, CCTV, telecommunications technology, and traffic signals. In the Christchurch application, a street lamp and a flag will be affixed to the SmartPole.

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney says“The City of Sydney is pleased to offer a SmartPole street lamp to Christchurch for the Solidarity Grid project. On behalf of the City, I wish Christchurch every success for the rebuild.”

The people of Christchurch’s sister-city Kurashiki in Japan’s western Okayama Prefecture have donated one of the street lamps currently located in the historical Bikan area to the project.  The Bikan area is known for its faithfully maintained white-walled merchant storehouses that are located on streets once crowded carts.  Previously a busy area of trade and industry, the area’s historical character now attracts galleries, coffee shops and tourists.

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Christchurch/Kurashiki Sister City relationship.  Kurashiki have been intimately involved in the rebuild of Christchurch and donated $300,000 to Christchurch’s earthquake recovery.  The donation of the street lamp will be a further symbol of the support of Kurashiki for the rebuild of Christchurch.

Mayor Ito of Kurashiki will visit Christchurch in mid November and while here she will dedicate her city’s street lamp, on site, at 1.15pm on Monday 18th November.

“I am thrilled that we’ve been able to participate in Christchurch’s Solidarity Grid project by gifting a street lamp from Kurashiki’s historical tourist spot, the ‘Bikan Area’,” says Mayor Ito.  “Christchurch and Kurashiki formed the first sister city relationship betweenJapan and New Zealand and we now welcome this milestone 40th Anniversary.”

“We send this street lamp as a ‘light of hope’ representing the friendship between our two cities, and as a symbol of recovery from the Christchurch earthquake.  I hope for a quick recovery for Christchurch and that the bonds of friendship between our cities continue long into the future.

www.scapebiennial.org.nz/solidarity-grid

www.mischakuball.com

Sponsors:

PLATINUM: Christchurch City Council, Neil Graham & Mainfreight

GOLD: Philips

SILVER: Anderson Lloyd Lawyers, Aurecon, The Press

CONTRIBUTING CITIES CONFIRMED FOR 2013: Düsseldorf, Belgrade, Kurashiki, Adelaide, Sydney.

ENDS

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