Art occupies shipping containers

02:50, Feb 27 2014
Arts container
ARTS VESSEL: The containers at Wellington's Waterfront.

Artists will have an unusual stage to perform on after 28 containers took up a temporary home on Wellington's waterfront.

They will provide the backdrop for multimedia installation and theatre work The Performance Arcade, which runs until Monday.

"The containers will be used as building blocks for the event and provide amazing new spaces to experience the performing arts," Sam Trubridge, creative director of performing arts group Playground NZ, which is producing The Performance Arcade, says.

He likens shipping containers to "test tubes" that are ideal for experimentation with performance and theatre in a public space.

Many people in the performing arts find stationary theatre and gallery spaces unsuitable for their work, he says.

"Shipping containers provide an alternative space, one that can be placed in any location to function as a stage or shelter for a work of art, yet they are also practical to work in," Trubridge says.


Shipping container specialist Royal Wolf, which specialises in the hire, sales and modification of shipping containers, has provided containers for projects ranging from walls to support heritage buildings in Christchurch to container modifications for pop-up cafes and a portable icecream factory.

With 28 containers, the scale of this year's production is the group's biggest yet.

"The artists are finding new innovative ways, and braver ways of working with the containers," Trubridge says.

The Freight performance by Kasia Pol, which uses eight containers stacked double height to "create a monumental space", was an example, he said.