Canterbury Museum has announced its summer blockbuster exhibition, which will be the largest, and possibly most controversial, ever held at the facility. Rise presented in collaboration with Oi YOU! is a celebration of street art and will open on Friday 20 December just in time for the summer tourist season.
Supported by the Canterbury Community Trust, Mediaworks, CPIT, Christchurch City Council, Ministry of Awesome and YMCA, RISE will be displayed in more than three gallery spaces across three levels within the Museum and profile the best of street art from around the world and New Zealand. Leading international artists Banksy, Ian Strange (kid Zoom), ROA, Thom Buchanan, Milton Springsteen and Vans the Omega, will all have their talents on show alongside reputable urban artists from New Zealand such as Christchurch’s own Wongi.
“I’m really blown away that the Museum is in a position to host such a brilliant display of this magnitude,” says Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright.
“This genre of art and its profile throughout the Museum galleries is a first for us, and will hopefully ignite the interest not only of tourists spending time in Christchurch and our regular visitors, but also of communities throughout the city who would not normally visit us during the year,” he says.
The exhibition’s owners George Shaw and Shannon Webster of Oi YOU!, who have also organised street art festivals in Nelson and Adelaide, have indicated that while RISE is held at Canterbury Museum, the featuring artists may also create artworks around Christchurch’s central city with advance permission from building owners.
“Beyond the artists we’ve already secured for RISE, we’re also actively seeking funding to engage other major local and international street artists to create huge murals throughout Christchurch’s CBD - we hope to announce these in coming weeks,” says George.
Mr Wright says given the sensitivity around graffiti in the city, prior to the development of the RISE exhibition, the Museum team consulted with key heritage groups to ensure they were fully informed about the background of the exhibition at Canterbury Museum, and the significance of street art to Christchurch post-earthquakes.
“RISE has not been designed to glorify graffiti, encourage or promote vandalism. This exhibition will profile the very best of street art, a recognised genre celebrated world-wide - most recently at the 2013 Venice Biennale – and will align with other exhibitions presented by SCAPE Public Art and the Christchurch Art Gallery’s Outer Spaces programme,” he says.
George and Shannon, who own 22 original Banksy artworks, are thrilled to be able to display the works in the Museum, and bring international artists to Christchurch as part of the street art celebration with the aim that Christchurch will become the street art capital of New Zealand.
“Street art is being embraced by forward-looking cities the world over. Our aim is to find a permanent base for our collection in Christchurch and to make the city home to a world-class annual event,” says George.
RISE will open to the public at Canterbury Museum on 20 December 2013 until 23 March 2014. Entry is free.
For more information see www.streetart.co.nz.