City art obscured by Fortis adverts
A contemporary artwork by an Australian artist has become a victim of the ''cacophony'' of industry banners splattering Christchurch's city walls.
Melbourne-based Ash Keating created Concrete Propositions on a wall on the Manchester St side of the Cathedral Junction building last year.
The giant canvas exploded into colour when he threw, sprayed, and fired paint at it using buckets, weed sprayers, and fire extinguishers.
The artwork sat in its entirety for months, but a construction company recently took it to a new level - by placing an advertising banner in its upper right-hand corner.
Mike Hewson, an Australian-based Christchurch artist, said: ''It's disrespectful. A work like his has to be left in its entirety. As soon as you dissect it with an ad, it totally destroys it.''
Keating said the banner bothered him, but it was ''not a surprise''. He was grateful to have had access to the wall in the first place.
''Over time, things change. I'm more impressed by the fact that there's no graffiti on the bottom of the wall,'' he said.
Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper said the work was a Gap Filler initiative, done in conjunction with the gallery.
''The work has run its course. It has sustained some damage over time, but this happens with transitional works of art,'' she said.
Harper said the ''visual cacophony'' of building and demolition industry banners dominating the landscape was a reflection of where the city was at.
Keating said while he would prefer to see the banner come down, as it ''looks like a weirdly painted wall that has advertising on top of it'', he understood the ''real-life scenario'' of art in public spaces.
A spokesman for Fortis Construction, which is currently working at Cathedral Junction, said the company was aware the banner was on top of an artwork. It was ''no big deal'', and it would come down shortly.
Kirk McKay, the body corporate manager for Cathedral Junction, said: ''The guys from Gap Filler had an agreement with us, and it essentially expired in August. Fortis were the main contractors on site.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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