Heart strings guitars auction fetches $111,000 for Christchurch

Tuesday 28 February 2012, 8:37AM
By Word of Mouth Media NZ


Seven hand-made guitars commemorating the loss of life and buildings in the Christchurch earthquakes fetched total of $111,000 at an auction in Christchurch at the weekend.

The Heart Strings guitars were crafted by Bruce Pickering and were created using timber from important historical buildings that fell in the Christchurch earthquakes.

Among the auction winners were the owners of Christchurch’s Southern Blues Bar, Nigel Church and Leanna Christie, who successfully bid on the ‘Southern Blues’ guitar and plan to feature it in their new bar when it is rebuilt.

All the profits will go to the Christchurch arts community. Accompanied by her guitarist husband Jason, Stars in Their Eyes tv winner Mandy Pickering sang ‘When the War is over’, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Angel’ and some of my her original songs that will feature on her upcoming album

``This project means a lot to us. Christchurch is my home town and my family and I have experienced our own personal loss, including the loss of our home. But what I love about this project is that it brings hope and positivity to our city” Pickering said today.

Wood for the guitar was donated by was donated by owners of the buildings such as Deans family home (Homebush), the Great Hall at the Christchurch Art Centre (Graduate), Southern Blues Bar (Southern Blues), a Heritage residential home in Chester Street (Chester), Gunyah Lodge (Gunyah) and Ohinetahi homestead built in 1858 in Governors Bay (Ohinetahi).

An eighth guitar, named Kia Kaha, was built out of timber from the historical Lyttelton Time Ball building. A scroll holding the names of those who lost their lives has been gently laid to rest inside the guitar, donated by her husband Jason and his father Bruce Pickering. The guitar has been featured at an exhibition in the Canterbury Museum.

Jason Pickering has taken the guitars on a nationwide tour to help raise awareness of the project including an exhibition and concert at Te Papa Museum.

The Heart Strings collection of guitars will also be celebrated in a live concert by Mandy Pickering and her band at The Wharf on Northcote Pt, Auckland, on March 11.

Following the success of the Heart Strings project, Mandy Pickering has been invited to tour the eastern cities of Australia, telling the Heart Strings story. She and her band have also been invited to perform at a fund raising concert in Japan later this year.