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Internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley creates STAY: a public artwork legacy for Christchurch

The first artwork of STAY, a Christchurch legacy public artwork by renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley, is being installed in the CERA Te Papa Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct project as part of SCAPE 8 New Intimacies.  

Antony Gormley, STAY, 2015 (Render). One of two sculptures by Antony Gormley commissioned by the Christchurch City Council Public Art Advisory Group for installation on the occasion of SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial, Christchurch, New Zealand. Courtesy of the Artist.

Commissioned by the Christchurch City Council Public Art Advisory Group, STAY is comprised of two identical cast iron figures located in different sites in the city. It responds to the context of Christchurch in 2015; a city in the throes of reconstruction, where retrospect and remembrance intermingle with future plans.

The first piece is being placed mid-current in the Ōtākaro Avon River, offering a point of reflection and contemplation in a natural environment, which seems comparatively unchanged by Christchurch’s recent history. The second figure will be installed in the Northern Quadrangle of the Arts Centre of Christchurch in early 2016 – a site that bears the memory of the effects of the earthquake – in celebration of the site’s restoration and the resilience of the people of Christchurch.

STAY is a true legacy piece” says SCAPE Public Art Director Deborah McCormick. “It is instantly accessible for the people of Christchurch. Antony Gormley has a worldwide reputation for creating inspirational public art; we are thrilled to unveil his first permanent work in New Zealand for the forthcoming SCAPE 8 Christchurch Biennial.”

STAY is non-monumental, at human scale; neither a landmark nor an icon, but a quiet catalyst for reflection. Each work marks a place, but will also talk to a time that does not yet exist. SCAPE Public Art presents the ideal opportunity to ask whether art can instigate and give space for new attitudes and begin to heal and encourage reconciliation” says Antony Gormley.

STAY is part of the Polyhedra series of works, which date back to 2007. An integral part of SCAPE 8 New Intimacies, Gormley’s STAY, 2015 is backed by the Christchurch City Council and Matapopore Charitable Trust, which is the mandated Ngāi Tūāhuriri (mana whenua) cultural advisory committee within the central city.

STAY is another representation of our regeneration as a city and the revival of our local arts scene”, says Mayor Lianne Dalziel. “The sculptures are on two very different, but equally important, central city sites and will capture the imagination of Cantabrians and visitors as they experience Christchurch." 

Industry collaborators within the rebuild are key project supporters; The Fletcher Construction Company, RCP, Aurecon and Eos Ecology.

SCAPE Public Art announced other biennial projects and sites for SCAPE 8 New Intimacies curated by Rob Garrett throughout September. The projects by Antony Gormley, Pauline Rhodes, Hannah Kidd, Nathan Pohio, Fiona Jack, Peter Atkins and Judy Millar will be accompanied by public participation project #ThatTimeYouHelped Our Portraits of People Reaching Out to One Another.

The SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial is a contemporary art event, which mixes new artworks with existing legacy pieces, an education programme, and a public programme of events. The SCAPE 8 artworks will be located around central Christchurch and linked via a Public Art Walkway, alongside a programme of artist talks, guided tours and public workshops. All aspects of SCAPE 8 are free-to-view and will be available to visit over a period of six weeks between 3 October and 15 November 2015.

Rob Garrett is a New Zealand-born curator based in Poland, with more than 35 years in the art sector, including curatorial experience in New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, France, Turkey, Germany and India. Most recently he curated the 2013 Narracje public art festival in Gdańsk, Poland.

More detailed information about the SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial and artists is available on the website www.scapepublicart.org.nz/scape-8.

The two sculptures for Christchurch, STAY, are part of the Polyhedra series of works. For more information on the Polyhedra series and images, please visit: http://www.antonygormley.com/sculpture/item-view/id/280#p0.

 


Updated on 23rd September 2015