I presume my first teaching lesson in Japan will most likely include an introductory powerpoint of my home town. So, to collect material (and oh my goodness how incredibly lucky am I that there’s so much to draw from) I embarked on a mini mission with my hilarious friend Chantelle to document pictures of the breathtakingly colourful talent that has plastered our quake city.
The art form of Graffiti, usually generated in city streets and on city walls often elicits negative feedback but in Christchurch, street art has not only cultivated beauty amidst earthquake destruction but has also provided hope, entertainment and sense of belonging and community for us Christchurch residents. Today, the majority of the city’s wrecked establishments and cleared spaces showcase magnificent artworks – the broken buildings and walls we previously overlooked or more often intentionally avoided now have our eyes glued and WOW are the aesthetics good!
The great Banksy once said: “graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss”. Except, we’re not continuously pissing in the CBD, we’re walking/running/driving around to work/school/shops/cafes and restaurants and we’re continuously wowed by the street art around us. In particular, it is the contrast of the artworks’ vibrant colours against the shattered, war-zone-like backdrop of the broken (but ever restoring) city that has produced such powerful visuals.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”― Pablo Picasso
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”― Maya Angelou
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”― Émile Zola
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”― Pablo Picasso
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” ― Banksy
“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” ― Laurie Anderson
“Creativity takes courage. ” ― Henri Matisse
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ― Albert Einstein
IMAGES BY CHANTELLE NAITORO AND ME