Christchurch Street Art is a colourful distraction from the vacant lots and surviving earthquake damaged buildings that seem to plague much of the downtown area. It’s as though New Zealand’s third largest city is a blank canvas to be painted. NZ street artists have flocked here to take on the challenge of revitalising and brightening this historic destination.
We went on a self-guided city street art walk (similar to what we have done in Auckland). Below is what we consider to be the best of Christchurch street art. I have identified the artists where I knew them.
Christchurch New Zealand is one of 42 countries featured in Lonely Planet’s new guide to global Street Art book.
Is sculpture street art?
The question we pondered as we put together this collection of graffiti and street art: What is street art? Like many subjective questions, there are multiple answers.
- Most definitions suggest the essential elements are that it is artwork created in a public space, and typically without official permission, although lately many cities have commissioned both local and famous street artists to create original street art.
- However, Wikipedia adds, “Common forms and media include spray paint graffiti, stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster art, sticker art, street installations, and sculpture.“
Last year, we went on a street art tour in Auckland during Art Week (New Zealand’s largest city). It included sculptures. With that in mind, I add the following street art images:
What about this public art?
Do you consider this Glass Pavilion or the seemingly random giant set of living room (or library) furniture to be street art?
Practical information on Christchurch, street art, and city tours:
- We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Christchurch City, which is walking distance to most of the artworks on this page. The spacious rooms are modern and the food outstanding.
⇒ We save money by reserving our accommodations through Booking.com.
- Check out this interactive street map highlighting the art. If you have a smartphone or tablet, it’s an easy way to create your own self-guided tour. This is what we did.
- If you prefer an organized tour, cycling seems to be the only option that specifically mentions street art while you tour the city’s rebuild. Viator offers both group cycling tours and private tours. Each is about 2 hours and are a perfect introduction to this city.
- If you want to enjoy more of the city, the Christchurch sightseeing pass may be your best option. The pass is good for multiple days. It includes 17-stop hop-on-hop-off tour aboard the Christchurch Tram, punting on the Avon River (read our review here), an open-top caterpillar bus tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and a gondola ride.
- Want more? Don’t miss these collections of street art from around the world: Asia, New Zealand and Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States, and Central and South America.
What do you think, do the sculptures belong with this collection of Christchurch street art?
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