Christchurch artists to stage art protest
Media release – January 26, 2009
Christchurch artists to stage art protest campaign to save Canterbury’s Waianiwaniwa Valley and Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers
Two Christchurch artists deeply concerned about the future of Canterbury’s water will launch their Canterbury River-talk project in March, they said today.
Artist friends Sally Hope and Jane Zusters want to draw attention to the Central Plains water and land grab scheme.
Last year the pair co-foundered a network of New Zealand artists named Artists to Save Our Water which instigates art projects about local and regional water issues.
A group of artists will camp at Kowai Bush at the site where the braided Waimakariri River will turn into a concrete canal if the Central Plains water scheme goes ahead. The proposed scheme would be the largest private construction project ever undertaken in Canterbury if it received approval.
An exquisite valley of lush rolling hills and mature trees planted by generations of Deans will be submerged by a 55 metre dam if the scheme is approved.
The artists involved are Mark Adams, Nigel Brown, Linda James, Sam Mahon, Albi McCarthy, Ramonda Te Maiharoa, Tiffany Thornley, Becky Turrell and also Hope and Zusters.
``We are camping from March 20 to 23 where the Waimakariri River leaves the Gorge and the braided section of the river begins,’’ Zusters and Hope said.
``This is the location of the Upper Intake and canal for the proposed Central Plains scheme. We will be organising a tour of the surrounding area that would be affected if this scheme goes ahead.
``Artists will be able to see, feel, touch, collect, sketch, photograph, film, write, process and draw their experiences to use as the basis for a water art exhibition we are planning for later in the year. There will be no decision on Central Plains Water before May and so this is perfect timing for publicity purposes to protect and celebrate the river through their artwork,’’ they said.