Every couple of years for the past decade or so the Scape Biennial of Art in Public Space opens in Christchurch for a number of weeks showcasing “contempory art in public space” by a large and diverse group of artists from around the world. In the past they have showcased art works that have highlighted waste and/or sustainability issues and as we have showcased international waste artists before we thought it would be nice to see what has been showcased in New Zealand.
In 2006 Happy Happy by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa was positioned under the trees in the serene and picturesque Christchurch Botanical Gardens (lovely spot). It was an interactive piece that asked the public to bring in objects made of plastic in bright colours and attach them to a wire cage. The art was about recognising the number and types of synthetic elements in our lives, our plastic consumption and the “rapidly changing aspects of industrialised and consumer economies”. You can read more about the artwork here.
In 2008 Tea Mäkipää produced an artwork called Petrol Engine Memorial Park that “honours” the oil and petrol industries and the impact that they have had on the environment and human beings. You can read more here. This artwork was in the Christchurch Art Centre and included an old car covered in vines as well as memorial plaques placed to highlight our species ability to be destructive both to ourselves, our environment and others. Not strictly a waste related artwork it still had strong environmental, sustainable living and human survival messaging.
Tea Mäkipää, PETROL ENGINE MEMORIAL PARK: For Mouring the Oil Era and its Victims – images by Brendan Lee and copyright Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu