cranes, containers, construction, creation, contrast…

[singlepic id=130 w= h= float=center] The central city engages us, shocks us, grieves and enchants us. It is a personal experience, human stories around every corner.

  • the cathedral, its new gateway a tiny wooden whare with richly planted roof and sides, its gaping nave a black cave with pigeons roosting in it
  • giant cranes nudging each other in the sky- 36 of them
  • living walls of ferns and shrubs, with stories


  •  woven coloured plastic fences, painted mural fences, high forbidding fences, fences picturing surreal modern buildings of curved glass and metal – to come, sometimeP1010949P1010946


  • waves of raucous sound crash in the streets from machines demolishing buildings, or constructing new ones
  • a cairn of signed stones from the rivers all around Canterbury, protesting the political overriding of regional democracy
  • New gardens and story boards celebrate the first people,  the real history of the land and the city, acknowledge Kai Tahu and earlier iwi
  • A tour guide talks about the huge financial and design investment Kai Tahu is making in the city rebuild.
  • containers everywhere- in clusters, brightly coloured, selling stuff; lurking in cordoned yards collecting detritus; parked, with signs, offering services.

IMG_5367IMG_5316       Huge gaps, huge teeth, exposed bones of buildings, graveyards of pillars, columns, brick, stones…       IMG_5366             Huge murals of faces, flowers, birds, bodies, mouths, brains, chaos or order- vast concrete canvases of colour and message… IMG_5339IMG_5322                     [singlepic id=113 w= h= float=center]

  • 185 white chairs –  wheelchairs, carrycots, office chairs, stools, armchairs – on bare grass beside a road, in memory of those who died in the earthquake.

IMG_5449 In the east of the city, New Brighton still has its pier, with fisherfolk, its huge library, and a small market of food and craft stalls, cheerful owners braving the winter weather. But beyond the coastal fringe there are silent houses, broken houses, signs of quiet despair or angry desperation . Then there are acres and acres where only trees still stand, and shrubs, marking the outlines of what were sections, homes, communities.   The road to Redcliffs and Sumner passes walls of containers, two-storeyed, below the precarious cliffs to catch still-falling rocks and debris. [singlepic id=117 w= h= float=center]

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