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Christchurch: Sculpture as Urban Design Strategy
by John Finlay

There is a new vogue in the traditional Garden City of Christchurch—art in public spaces. Public sculpture is all the rage, on the minds and agendas of artists, curators, gallery owners, urban designers, landscape architects, and the press and public alike. The city appears to be undergoing something of a renaissance and reinvigoration in terms of its public sculpture. With the commissioning of a recent report on art in public places by the reinstated Public Art Advisory Group and the arrival of the long-awaited fifth SCAPE Biennial of Art in Public Space—New Zealand’s international contemporary biennial celebrating public art, which coincides with the installation of a new permanent sculpture, Flour Power, by Wellington-based Regan Gentry—Christchurch is hot on the heels of its rival, Wellington, as a prominent place for art in public places and a leading environment for sculpture.

Regan Gentry, Flour Power, 2008.
Metal and lighting, 13 meters high; montage of work in situ.

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