New artworks turn Central Otago streetscapes into galleries
Bland cabinets across Central Otago have been turned into lively artworks by talented artists thanks to a partnership between Chorus and the Central Otago District Council.
In July, the Chorus cabinet programme will open for submissions from artists to brighten up the next lot of cabinets.
According to Mayor Tim Cadogan the artworks are a great way of bringing art into our everyday lives.
“This project brings art onto the roadside, brightening peoples’ days.
"Art isn’t just about the stuff hanging from a wall in a gallery.”
Over the past year the programme has created five new pieces of public art thanks to some talented artists.
Alexandra is not known for its marine life, but now in Kelman Street there’s now an eye-catching sea turtle, thanks to artist Annie Gilchrist.
“It’s a fun piece – the turtle stands out not just because of its colours, but also who expects a turtle in Central Otago?” she said.
A simple blossom adorns a cabinet in Centennial Avenue painted by artist Emma Maxx.
“It’s a simple and gentle piece but brings it still brightens up the roadside considerably.”
Kea in flight
An icon of the Southern Alps makes an appearance on SH6 Pearson Road in Cromwell, with a kea in flight set against an evening sky created by Rebecca Hembrow.
“Kea are the world’s only mountain parrot, and unique to the South Island. “There are a lot of kea paintings, but I wanted this one to stand out with its bolder colours.”
Another feathered icon appears in Clyde, with a distinguished looking tui gracing the cabinet in Orchard Street, in a work by Phoebe Taylor, who explains: “The tui is a beautiful bird and it’s good to simply celebrate that.”
In Cromwell there is now a colourful collection of butterflies taking flight in Waenga Drive. Jordan Turner was the artist.
“Butterflies are a joyful sight, so it’s good we can have them in Cromwell year-round, at least in art form.”
Chorus Community Relations Manager Jo Seddon said the Chorus cabinet art programme started as an experiment to stop graffiti in 2010 but has been phenomenally successful.
“It’s resulted in hundreds of cabinets across the country becoming bright artworks, which are now rarely affected by graffiti. Added to that, the programme has helped some talented artists further their careers. We are delighted with these beautiful new additions to our suite of painted cabinets throughout Central Otago.”
Work is now under way to select the cabinets for the next round and artists can keep an eye on the Chorus website for when submissions open, usually around 1 July: https://www.chorus.co.nz/community/cabinet-art-programme
Main image (Supplied/CODC): 'Kea in flight' - An icon of the Southern Alps makes an appearance on SH6 Pearson Road in Cromwell, with a kea in flight set against an evening sky created by Rebecca Hembrow.