The Glass Pavilion
by Gregor Kregar for SCAPE Public Art Season 2017
Auckland-based artist Gregor Kregar is creating a site-responsive structure using handmade glass bricks, recycled wood and repurposed neon. This architectural folly offers a form of shelter, but it is also open to the elements. It nods, through the repetition of the brick form, to classic minimal sculptures of the 1960s and 1970s, but these modular blocks also have a particular reading in Christchurch given the vulnerability of brick and masonry buildings during the earthquakes. The materiality of this sculpture is highly evocative. The glass bricks shimmer and change colour as light passes over and through them, the simple rectangular structure is topped with a seemingly haphazard nest-like timber ‘roof.’ As the sun fades, the sculpture transforms into an inviting beacon of light, and the work becomes a site for contemplation of impermanence and materiality, a place for shared conversation and moments of individual contemplation. The structure is built from industrial waste materials deemed to not be of use or significant commercial value. The work welcomes tactile and contextual associations of historical use; from the glass recycled to make the ‘breeze blocks,’ to the salvaged timber and the neon lights re-illuminated after their service to signage around the country. The work seeks to acknowledge ways in which the fabric of the destroyed city has in some cases found a new purpose, and pay homage to the fortitude and resilience of Christchurch communities, while also encouraging us to pause to consider the new forms of architecture repopulating the built environment.
Gregor Kregar was born in 1972 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
“My work is not confined to any single medium or material. In my sculptural practice I often combine a wide variety of materials such as stainless steel, plastic, cardboard, ceramics, glass, video and photography. I utilize familiar subject matters such as the human figure, body parts, television sets, bottles, inorganic rubbish and animals.
I am interested in how the familiar subject can be represented in a way that displaces the original meaning and imbues the subject with new and unfamiliar meanings. My work deals with issues of ambiguity and the uncanny, yet it is strongly connected to the social, economical and political environment I live in.”