Christchurch City (Ōtautahi) is a small city with a population of around 360,000 people.
But for such a small city it has an unbelievable pool of talent when it comes to street art & counter culture.
I love all things low brow like street art (pure street art – not the polished commercial type that’s being more and more accepted and even sponsored by local authorities to bring colour to areas), tattoo art, etc.
Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against any type of art that brings happiness to people, but for me – pure graffiti does it.
I’m absolutely blown away daily when driving around this city I’m lucky enough to call home, seeing examples of these self-taught geniuses all around me.
Since the Earthquakes of 2010/11 (the reason I ended up coming back to NZ to live/work), the cordoned-off city center couldn’t help but attract a number of budding graffiti artists to use it as a blank canvas to put their stamp on what would end up becoming a world-leading city for extraordinary street art.
Artists like Ikarus (https://www.facebook.com/IkarusDtRcrew/),
and Yikes (https://www.facebook.com/jacobyikes.artist/)
from the DTR Crew, who have countless examples of beautiful murals all over the city both in open public spaces and also hidden away gems along unseen railways lines, disused red zoned buildings, etc.
These guys have been Christchurch’s main graffiti crew for a number of years with one crew member - Dycypher (https://www.facebook.com/dcypherart/) ending up in LA plying his trade on a much bigger stage and to a much bigger audience.
But with that being said – he still rocks back to Christchurch on occasions to jam out with his old DTR crew mates.
That’s pretty sick!
Check out a recent artist spotlight piece written here about DTR crew: http://firstthursdayschch.co.nz/news/2014/9/2/artist-spotlight-wongi-ikarus-and-yikes
There’s a lot of information/pictures on line around the DTR crew because they’re the guys who have very much set the standard here in Christchurch, but there’s other younger upstarts following closely on their heels.
and Ekos (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011214339955)
are part of the MK Ultra crew and are a uniquely styled and very talented bunch of dudes plying their trade through graffiti art, art-art and tattoo art (I’m lucky enough to have a few living pieces on me and a few framed pieces in my house from these two dudes).
Their style is different to DTR’s but man are their pieces good.
That’s only a few names mentioned on a very large and continually growing list of people adding art to this city that’s reinventing itself slowly after what was a huge setback with the September ’10/February ’11 earthquakes.
Along with the local names there also seems to be a thriving guest spot culture with artists coming from all over the world to help develop Christchurch into one of a select few named in the latest Lonely Planet’s top street art cities in the world (http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/90284773/christchurch-ranked-as-a-global-street-art-capital-in-new-lonely-planet-book)
Artist such as Buff Monster (LA/NY), Vexta (Sydney), Owen Dippie (Tauranga), Anthony Lister (Brisbane), Hazo (France), Rone (Melbourne) (http://www.streetart.co.nz/artists-2013-16/) have flocked to the South Island Capital to help create a rich and varied landscape of one-off pieces.
And that’s just the pieces that can be seen. There are S-O many examples from the up & coming artist’s where they practice behind closed doors before feeling confident enough to stop ‘tagging’ and start creating.
I was lucky enough after receiving a tip-off from a street art mate to check out one such place – the old flour mill (or Mill Theatre) in Addington, which had been red stickered as a result of the quakes.
Now that place is a big kid’s playground for anyone with a taste for street art.
I was absolutely blown away by the depth of talent that was on show within this building, that unfortunately most people will never see.
On a Sunny Sunday afternoon, I put on my camera backpack and went on a climbing mission to gain access to this goliath of an old girl. The results were well worth the climb.
All pictures can be found here: https://www.cwworks.co.nz/single-post/2017/03/18/Theatre-Now-Gallery-Of-Sorts
I have a desk job as a Q.S here in Christchurch helping with the rebuild. But while it’s cool to help people get a fully functioning city back up & running - my passion is art.
All types of art.
Photography, interior/exterior building design, tattoos, etc. I have a blog that focuses on Q.S (quantity surveying) services as a main … but it’s really just a cover note to write about what I’m really interested in (and hoping to focus on as a career in the near future).
Some more street art examples from this unique & amazing spot that is Christchurch NZ
Anyways, thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed the pictures and if you’re into street art any little bit make sure to check out the links and get out and explore this absolute gem of a city if you’re as lucky as me to be able to call it home.