Community art makes Riccarton intersection beautiful video

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff.co.nz

Members of the community paint the intersection of Shand Cres and Tara St in Riccarton, Christchurch.

An ordinary Christchurch intersection has been transformed into something beautiful, an initiative which could spread throughout the city.

Riccarton locals spent the weekend turning the Shand Cres and Tara St intersection into a work of art.

It was a long-germinating idea, inspired by similar work in Portland, Oregon – a city which now has hundreds of community-painted intersections.

The design depicts a child's view of the neighbourhood.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

The design depicts a child's view of the neighbourhood.

This is the first community-led intersection art in Christchurch, and potentially the country.

Project co-ordinator Sue Ramsay said it had been a long journey, involving input from all affected residents.

The community came up with 90 designs, which were voted on and distilled into the final artwork, depicting a child's view of the neighbourhood.

"It's been very much about having a community process around it – we didn't know if it would work, but I think it's worked really well," Ramsay said.

"It's a lovely representation of community, and this community particularly. It captures the vitality and the energy."

About 150 residents contributed to the painting over the weekend, she said.

Because it was the first of its kind, much of the planning was focussed on the how – how to get permission, how much paint was needed, and how to get the community involved.

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Now it had been done, a precedent had been set for other communities in Christchurch that had shown interest, Ramsay said.

"We think we'll probably put together a wee manual – we've learned a lot from doing it – and share that with whoever is keen to do it.

"I'm hoping it will be the beginning of quite a number of them."

 - Stuff

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