An outdoor exhibition, Reconstruction: conversations on a city, provides a compelling visual account of Christchurch/Otautahi’s rich architectural heritage, captured in a series of digitised drawings, photographs, paintings, maps and plans.
Installed on Worcester Boulevard, the exhibition is curated by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu and forms part of Christchurch City Council’s transitional city programme designed to support local businesses and bring new life back to the city centre.
Curator Ken Hall said: “Walking through the exhibition, it is possible to see the architectural layers of the city, almost in an archaeological way. First, the wooden buildings, then the transition from wood, to brick, to stone. We see for example, through a stunning series of photographs the Canterbury Provincial Council Chambers emerging out of the undulating, swampy tussock land. As a whole, the exhibition presents each of us with an opportunity to build a strong mental imprint of the city’s past. Every person will bring their own memories and attachments to their experience of the exhibition.”
Images in the exhibition are supported by commentary from local architectural historians. The commentaries raise important questions, said Mr Hall. “We have to ask whether this city can be rebuilt as a place of genuine quality and interest if we undervalue the significance of our rich architectural heritage past.”
Reconstruction: conversations on a city continues until 16 September 2012.