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Revitalised SCAPE confirmed for 2010

Media Release 23 October 2009

Revitalised SCAPE confirmed for 2010

SCAPE 2010, New Zealand’s premier biennial for art in public space space, will run from September 24 to November 7 2010 2010, with a clear strategy, strengthened board and new curatorial g group roup focused on achieving greater impact.

This will be the sixth biennial the Art & Industry Trust has staged in Christchurch. New Trust chairman Bob Blyth says the Trust has carefully developed its strategy going forward, to ensure Christchurch people are excited, engaged and stimulated by the SCAPE public art projects in 2010.

Director Deborah McCormick agrees. “We celebrated our tenth anniversary last year and since then have taken stock and listened to feedback,” she says.

“Across ten years, we have gifted six permanent artworks to the city and commissioned more than 150 temporary public artworks, with more than 50 of them by New Zealand artists.” “We have re-committed to presenting temporary and permanent high impact public artworks in Christchurch, but SCAPE 2010 will offer fewer pieces, selected against different criteria and a different process. More than two-thirds of the artworks will be from New Zealand artists, with a number of projects targeting the wider community for involvement.”

The Trust has appointed a new Curatorial Group, a panel of specialists who will select and work with artists to produce more substantial public art projects, implementing the trust artistic vision for SCAPE 2010.

The group has three members - notably a new convenor in Blair French, the Executive Director of Artspace Visual Art Centre in Sydney, Australia’s leading international residency focused contemporary art space dedicated to supporting artists in the development of new work. He is joined by Christchurch artist and Arts Foundation Laureate Artist, Julia Morison and Boffa Miskell Landscape Architect, William Field.

Blair French says “Like the best of international biennales, SCAPE is a major event on the arts calendar, due to its acute engagement with the local environment and experiences of place. This is something the curatorial group for SCAPE 2010 is particularly conscious of. “In addition to their specific professional skills, William and Julia bring finely honed knowledge and experience of Christchurch – its urban fabric, environment, cultural scenes and communities – to the process of developing SCAPE 2010. We look forward collectively to a newly concentrated SCAPE Biennial that will delight and provoke across a series of major new works in the inner city.”

Blair French has worked in art galleries in New Zealand, the UK and Sydney and has a dual career as a writer and curator. He is well published, has been the recipient of grants and fellowships and has lectured widely in New Zealand and Australia. Throughout his time in Australia he has continued to work closely with New Zealand artists and says he’s delighted to be involved with SCAPE.

“Much of the most dynamic and urgent art of the moment is positioned in the public sphere, meeting its audience in the spaces of daily life, seeking to activate public spaces in new ways and engage the interest and involvement of publics through extended periods of time. The SCAPE Biennials to date have been pivotal in supporting artists both New Zealand and international in developing these practices,” he says.


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