Council’s public art collection grows to $13.7 million

City Art Work (L to R) The Gormley staue in the Avon River, Orauwhata sculpture outside Bishopdale Library, Pupu Harakeke in Ngai Tahu's King Edward Barracks and Tree Houses for Swamp Dwellers on the corner of Gloucester & Colombo St's. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

The value of the city’s public outdoor art has risen to $13.7 million with 19 new pieces added to the collection in the last eight years.

The city council has had its outdoor artwork in public places revalued by Art + Object. It was the first valuation since June 2009.

Usually it would have been done every three years, but the September 4, 2010, and February 22, 2011, earthquakes meant it could not happen until now.

Eight years ago, the total value of the city’s public art was $5.9 million.

City council head of parks Brent Smith said, since then, 19 new pieces had been added to the collection.

Some were gifts, while others were partially paid for by the city council through its Public Art Advisory Group alongside other organisations.

Mr Smith said due to commercial sensitivity, he could not say how much each cost, but released what each was valued at.

The figures show the most valuable was the Fanfare sculpture at Chaneys Corner by artist Neil Dawson at just over $3 million.

It was funded through the Public Art Advisory Group and SCAPE Public Art.

That was followed by Antony Gormley’s STAY, which consists of two humanoid cast-iron sculptures, one in the Avon River and another at the Arts Centre.

They are valued at $956,522. The city council put about $500,000 towards the work, with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority paying $338,000.

The $160,000 in extra costs like transport, legal fees and installation was paid for through sponsorship. Critics said the ratepayer money should have been spent elsewhere.

Solidarity Grid, a series of 20 lamp posts by Mischa Kuball along Park Tce, which was bought by SCAPE and the Public Art Advisory Group fund, was valued at $869,565.

The most recent public art work to be installed was Pupu Harakeke by artist Virginia King, which sits in the square of Ngai Tahu’s King Edward Barracks development.

Valued at $63,362, Pupu Harakeke is a large, stainless steel shell, which has words cut out of it and rotates on a pole.

It was jointly paid for by Ngai Tahu, the city council and anchor tenant EY, and installed in March.

EY partner Ben Willems picked the sculpture to help remember those lost in the February 22, 2011, earthquake, including his wife Lisa Willems.

Lyttelton’s bronze Sled Dog by Mark Whyte was gifted last year. It was valued between $32,000-$42,000.

In 2013, Lyttelton’s Albion Square got three pieces: The $10,075 Mandala, the Fifth Ship Flagpoles valued at $11,342, and the most valuable, Waharoa, at $113,043.

Bishopdale Library’s Orauwhata was installed last year. Its value was $40,000.

Two others were unveiled last year at Aranui Community Centre. Nga Hoe was valued at $76,900, while the cast concrete design was $5000.

In 2015, Te Ao Marama, valued at $21,400, was installed in Scarborough Park.

Two years prior, the Papanui-Innes Community Board commissioned Sam Mahon to create a sculpture of the late Graham Condon, which now sits outside the Graham Condon Sport and Recreation Centre. It was valued at $69,565.

Tree Houses for Swamp Dwellers was valued at $391,304. It was installed on the corner of Gloucester and Colombo Sts in 2013.

In 2012, Koauau O Tane Whakapiripiri Pou and Ohinehou Pou were both gifted and put in place in Governors Bay’s Pony Point Reserve and Lyttelton’s Sutton Reserve.

Passing Time, the large twisting ribbon of stainless steel and copper boxes outside Ara Institute of Canterbury, was put in place in 2011.

Its value was $304,348, while Serenade in Fendalton Park was installed in 2010. It was now valued at $55,000.

Mr Smith said public art was important because it was an indicator of cultural well being, and promoted Christchurch as a centre of artistic and cultural excellence.

“It provides for a city environment enriched by a variety of works of art in public spaces and recognition of the excellence and achievements of local artists.”