Plywood fences have appeared at the edges of the new laneways just built behind and alongside High Street’s Smash Palace – and thankfully, covered with some awesome art. George Shaw of OiYOU! who coordinated the work by street artists Dcypher, Ikarus and Jacob Yikes, says “the hoardings interpret the buildings in SALT District and intertwine them with graffiti pieces all played out in colours that reflect the blends that you experience in the revamped Smash Palace.” Spot that much-loved old painted advertisement visible from Tuam St, and the notorious intersection upgrade of Tuam & High (100m away) that resulted in 17 traffic lights (!!) that, to this day, makes sense to absolutely no-one.
It’s years since negotiation started over where these laneways would go, and now that Butchers Lane is complete, the relief is palpable. Kudos to all the staff and volunteers at Smash Palace who laboured to shift their bar by 3m so that the laneway could be built. A massive job, but the revamped bar looks awesome and has the same great vibe as always. Now that we have the tracings of the future shape of this part of SALT District, let’s hope things crack along heaps faster now! Read more about Smash Palace’s phoenix post here.
If you had a sneaking suspicion that the city’s stocks of street art are beginning to replenish, you’d be right. The hoardings in Butchers Lane aren’t the only awesome work by OiYOU! and team in the last few weeks. Check out this colourful mural inspired by the power of young people to change the way cities look . Like the Butchers Lane artwork, it’s also part of the South Frame murals project sponsored by Ōtākaro. Finally, there's a giant work just finished on the side of Novotel in Cathedral Square. Sponsored by ChristchurchNZ and the Antarctic Office to reflect our special Gateway City relationship with Antarctica, it’s the city’s biggest mural and is incredibly immersive and moving to stand in front of. Check that one out here.
Laura Taylor is Principal Placemaking Advisor at Ōtākaro Ltd, a Crown-owned development company based in Ōtautahi Christchurch.