A symbol for a bullish city

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2013
bronze bull
John Kirk-Anderson

CITY 'TAKING OWNERSHIP': A fundraising gala has been launched to buy Michael Parekowhai's sculpture On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer for Christchurch.

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Wealthy Cantabrians have donated more than $100,000 towards a symbol of hope for the city.

The Christchurch Art Gallery has celebrated its 10th anniversary with a fundraising gala that raised more $100,000.

Money raised at the event on Saturday will help fund the purchase of the Michael Parekowhai sculpture On First Looking into Chapman's Homer - a 1.7-tonne bronze bull atop a grand piano.

The work became a symbol of hope in an earthquake-ravaged city when it was displayed on an empty central site last year.

More than 200 guests attended the gala, which marked the start of a public campaign encouraging the Christchurch community to help buy the bull before the city's arts festival.

The fundraising campaign aims to raise $200,000.

Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper said while the gallery trust was fronting the campaign, it wanted Christchurch to "take ownership of this sculpture".

"The standing bull entered the city's imagination in a special way; coming to symbolise this time. We at the gallery are charged with building a collection of nationally significant art," she said. "We believe this city deserves Chapman's Homer and will treasure it."

The total raised on the night was $103,000.

Martin Trusttum, manager of ArtBox, said the city needed "icons" for people to feek a "strength and that feeling of belonging".

"You have these points around the city that for some people help sum up what being in a certain place is about," he said.

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- The Press

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