Antony Gormley, STAY, 2015-16. Commissioned by the Christchurch City Council Public Art Advisory Group. Produced by SCAPE Public Art.
STAY is a public artwork comprised of two identical cast iron figures at two different sites within the city by renowned British sculptor Antony Gormley. The first sculpture, installed in 2015, is in the Avon River slightly upstream from the Gloucester Street Bridge. The Arts Centre is home to the second artwork prominently positioned in the North Quad Cloisters. STAY responds to the context of Christchurch; a city rebuilding where retrospect and remembrance intermingle with future plans.
Neil Dawson, ECHO, 1981, 1991-2011, 2021.
Echo was the first public sculpture by Ōtautahi Christchurch artist Neil Dawson. Specifically designed for the North Quad and inspired by its surrounding, the work ‘echoes’ The Arts Centre’s Gothic Revival architecture.
This two-dimensional piece relies on traditional perspective drawing. The three-metre-high carbon fibre tubular structure is suspended by thin stainless-steel wires and was permanently reinstalled in its spot, six metres above the centre of the quad in 2021. Neil Dawson is now internationally recognised and has public sculptures displayed in cities around the world. Echo was inspired by Dawson’s time as an Arts Centre caretaker in the late 1970s.
“The piece came about one night when I was doing my rounds at about midnight. I heard this strange echo. I went to the North Quad and there was a woman sitting cross-legged on the lawn playing the flute. It was magic.” said Dawson.
The Arts Centre Quad Squad
The Arts Centre Quad Squad, Mason’s Cairn, 2019.
Mason’s Cairn is a monumental work of carved Oamaru stone standing about 2.4m tall and weighing 2½ tonnes. It’s an imposing landscape piece and is made of “the stone that the builders rejected” during the earthquake restoration.
The Arts Centre Quad Squad created their first sculptural artwork in 2019. The Quad Squad is a collective of artists who produce work related to The Arts Centre, displayed at The Arts Centre.