New Zealand’s premier biennial of art in public space curated by Rob Garrett.
SCAPE 8: New Intimacies curated by Rob Garrett was a contemporary art event which mixed new artworks with existing legacy pieces, an education programme, and a public programme of events. The SCAPE 8 artworks were located around central Christchurch and linked via a public art walkway. All aspects of SCAPE 8 were free to view.
The title for the 2015 Biennial – New Intimacies – came from the idea that visually striking and emotionally engaging public art works can create new connections between people and places. Under the main theme of New Intimacies there are three other themes that artists responded to: Sight-Lines, Inner Depths and Shared Strengths.
Sight-Lines engaged with the changed landscape of the city centre, with its new vistas opened up across city blocks, out to the Port Hills and beyond. Artists were invited to consider how the city’s new spatial character has the potential to stimulate fresh thinking.
Inner Depths recognised Christchurch as a water city; where liquefaction, flood and failed infrastructure mean that water has taken on a new significance. Through this theme, artists were invited to explore subterranean strata and water flows; as well as exploring underground water as a metaphor for the city’s cultural layers and memories.
Shared Strengths recognised the resilience of people, and the power of helpfulness and self-organising communities to buoy the city through tough years. Several SCAPE 8 projects honoured and celebrated the ongoing, everyday phenomenon of people helping each other.
The SCAPE Public Art Christchurch Biennial in 2015 was curated by New Zealand-born international curator Rob Garrett.
He is based in Poland, and has spent more than 35 years in the contemporary art sector, including curatorial experience in New Zealand, Poland, Italy, Sweden, France, Turkey, Germany and India. He curated Unearthing Delights, the 5th edition of Narracje – Installations and Interventions in Public Space, Gdańsk, Poland (November 2013). He is the initiator and curator of an ongoing international programme of emergent projects at Corner window gallery, a non-profit space on Auckland’s Karangahape Road, New Zealand.
Christchurch Central overlooking the Avon River; photo courtesy of Rob Garrett, Curator, SCAPE 8.
Sight-lines, Inner Depths and Shared Strengths, Christchurch September 2014; photos courtesy of Rob Garrett, Curator, SCAPE 8.
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