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SCAPE Artworks Bring Splash of Spring Colour to Central City

Two new brightly coloured, abstract artworks by Aotearoa artists will radiate from separate central city locations this spring as part of SCAPE Public Art’s Season 2019.

Natalie Guy’s The Pool (2018–19) and Tyler Jackson’s Modulating Monolith (2019) are located within easy walking distance from each other for the six-week Season that opens on 5 October.

Poised ready for the plunge, Guy’s diving board overlooks the Ōtākaro Avon River at the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Hereford streets, while Jackson’s glowing rectangular cube is located next to Christchurch Casino.

The diving board is pointedly not positioned above a swimming pool. Stripped of its core business as a launching pad, Guy says it “becomes a surreal, redundant and inaccessible object.”

The Pool references both David Hockney’s iconic and luxurious Californian paintings, and British architect Jane Drew. Drew was a major contributor to the design of the Indian city of Chandigarh, planned in the 1950s as a modernist utopia.

A leader in her field at a time when female architects were rare, Drew produced many of Chandigarh’s features, including a pool and diving board for a private swimming club.

“Pools would have been a rarity in 1950s Chandigarh. Much like the city itself, which is an isolated island of modernist architecture and ordered urban design, it harbours a sense of other-worldliness,” Guy says.

Down the road, the utilitarian shape of Jackson’s Modulating Monolith suggests a shed or public amenity, however it pulsates with light and colour.

“It draws us close but allows no access through its radiant but impenetrable skin,” SCAPE Managing Curator Emma Bugden says.

“The fleeting nature of light is contrasted with the robust, industrial nature of Jackson’s materials. At a time when our relationship to plastics is increasingly conflicted, Monolith Modulator is both seductive and elusive.”

The artwork continues Jackson’s interest in the history of artists working in light and this work emits luminosity in a diffuse way.

“I’m interested in the immateriality of light. Obviously, colour is the offspring of light – so the immateriality of colour as well,” Jackson says.

Season 2019 features more than a dozen artworks linked by the SCAPE Public Art Walkway, with people encouraged to get the Season map and either self-guide or join a guided tour.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s pre-eminent public art festival, SCAPE Season 2019 takes the iconic game Rock : Paper : Scissors as its starting point, featuring artworks that make us think and feel: about what home means, the emotional resonance of materials, and the patterns and rituals that help us make sense of the world.

It runs from 5 October to 16 November, with the Season map available at central city locations from the end of September.

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