Artist says goodbye to condemned building

Christchurch artist creates personal goodbye

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 15:50 24/01/2013
government life art std
David Hallett/The Press
TRIBUTE: A new work in Gloucester St by Christchurch artist Mike Hewson is a reflection of the old Government Life building behind.

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A Christchurch artist has created "a personal goodbye" to a condemned building and a reflection on the changing city.

Mike Hewson has installed an artwork on a vacant building in Gloucester St that creates the illusion of a reflection of the old Government Life building behind.

The artwork is a tribute to the former Government Life building, where Hewson had an art studio for many years.

"It is the old studio building where I used to work. I was never able to see that side of the building before the quakes. It is a new perspective," he said.

"I wanted to encourage people to look at what is happening in the city at the moment. It is suspending the building in time."

The building with the artwork and the Government Life building are both slated for demolition.

"They may go at the same time. There is a very short window of opportunity for me to contribute to the city. It will only be like this for about six months," Hewson said.

He said his years working in the Government Life building were important to his development as an artist.

"It is a personal goodbye to the building," he said.

The artwork is created in such a way that when you stand at the corner of Gloucester St and Oxford Tce it lines up as a reflection of the Government Life building, even though it is painted on a surface that is not flat.

It is one of a series of artworks created by Hewson inside the central-city red-zone cordon.

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