Containers transformed into art gallery

NEW LANDSCAPE: New Zealand artists are being sponsored to show their art on shipping containers on Peacocks Gallop in Sumner.
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
NEW LANDSCAPE: New Zealand artists are being sponsored to show their art on shipping containers on Peacocks Gallop in Sumner.

Shipping containers acting as quake barriers are being transformed into an open-air art gallery.

A stretch of about 160 shipping containers on Peacocks Gallop in Sumner could become home to works by leading New Zealand artists.

Two artworks by Christchurch artists already adorn the containers, and another three are expected to appear in the next two weeks.

L'Estrange gallery owner and curator Bryan L'Estrange and graphic designer Dinesh Patel hope to slowly fill the entire stretch of containers with artwork.

L'Estrange's artwork is one of the two already installed, along with a piece called Sanctuary by Christchurch artist Tony Cribb, known for his Tinman artworks.

The wall of shipping containers was an excellent exhibition space for artists, said L'Estrange.

"This is very much about the community turning a negative into a positive," he said.

"It is a fantastic platform for artists to show their work when the galleries are closed. The containers are a real symbol of the period after the earthquake.

"They have changed the urban landscape. They are so ugly and will be around for up to five years, so we wanted to create something special that people will travel to see. Sumner has been hit really hard."

The containers are about two storeys high and either six or 12 metres wide.

The five confirmed artworks have already won sponsorship to cover the costs, and a major sponsor is close to confirming support for 20 more containers.

Ten artists have already been confirmed for the exhibition.

Artworks will be added to the stretch of containers as new sponsors are found. Sponsors and artists will have their names displayed together on the containers at either end of the stretch as the project progresses.

If you would like to submit an artwork for consideration or sponsor the project, email Bryan.

The Press