The Glass Pavilion by Gregor Kregar for SCAPE Public Art Season 2017
Gregor Kregar The Glass Pavilion 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland. Photo by Heather Milne.
Auckland-based artist Gregor Kregar created a site-responsive structure using handmade glass bricks, recycled wood and repurposed neon. This architectural folly offered a form of shelter, but it was also open to the elements. It nodded, through the repetition of the brick form, to classic minimal sculptures of the 1960s and 1970s, but these modular blocks also had a particular reading in Christchurch given the vulnerability of brick and masonry buildings during the earthquakes. The materiality of this sculpture was highly evocative. The glass bricks shimmered and changed colour as light passed over and through them, the simple rectangular structure was topped with a seemingly haphazard nest-like timber ‘roof.’ As the sun faded, the sculpture transformed into an inviting beacon of light, and the work became a site for contemplation of impermanence and materiality, a place for shared conversation and moments of individual contemplation. The structure was built from industrial waste materials deemed to not be of use or significant commercial value. The work welcomed 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 seeked to acknowledge ways in which the fabric of the destroyed city has in some cases found a new purpose, and paid 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.