Strength and Power Symbolised in new Darryn George Artworks

Media release: 27 September 2019

Six striking Darryn George (Ngapuhi) artworks have created a sense of arrival at one of
Christchurch’s largest office buildings, with a design that aims to uplift and empower.

Located along the street outside the Awly building on Durham Street, Building Blocks (2019) combines a series of Māori words with a moko design, reflecting the Christchurch rebuild story.

“The Christchurch rebuild after the earthquakes has been a case of slow but steady
building, block by block,” George says.

“As we move forward, there is optimism and a willingness to embrace development and growth. Building Blocks is a nod to this Canterbury story. One block at a time, the city rebuilds.”

The Māori words on the blocks (Toa, Nui, Hiki, Kaha, Ora and Ihi) were chosen to uplift, empower and to encourage on, he says. The essence of their meaning is brave, great, rise, strong, life and great force.

“The moko design incorporated behind the words gives the blocks a sense of being a wakahuia – a treasure box. The moko is the mangōpare design – symbolising strength and power.”

Building Blocks was commissioned by building owner, Awly Investments Ltd and is based on a concept created by Colliers International Senior Facilities Manager, David Soper. They worked closely in consultation with SCAPE Public Art Executive Director Deborah McCormick to turn the concept into a reality.

The artworks are adhered to six concrete bollards outside the building – protecting the footpath while adding a beautiful aesthetic to the area.

“The clean, angular style of the artworks match the building’s architecture and gives visitors a real sense of arrival when they approach the building” Soper says.

“They’re true statement pieces which is apt for this building that has a high emphasis on seismic design and a 5 Star green rating for eco-friendliness.”

Scape Public Art4

Darryn George Building Blocks 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and SCAPE Public Art.

About the SCAPE Public Art Trust

SCAPE Public Art installs public art in Christchurch all year round, with a focus on the
annual public art festival Seasons. SCAPE is the Christchurch expert in the installation of public art, and the SCAPE Public Art Seasons are New Zealand's premier public art events.

Held in Christchurch’s central city public spaces and supported through a range of partnerships, the Seasons showcase leading national and international contemporary artists, and provide a springboard for emerging local talent. Artworks in the Seasons are created as a result of close collaboration between art and business. This is a highly regarded model world-wide.
Our Seasons provide an opportunity to focus on the introduction of new artworks while maintaining focus on the impressive base of legacy pieces.

For media comment please contact:
Deborah McCormick
Executive Director SCAPE Public Art
Tel: +64 (0)3 365 7990
Mobile: +64 (0)27 280 9557
Carolyne Grant
Philanthropy & Communications Manager
SCAPE Public Art
Tel: +64 (0)3 365 7990
Mobile: +64 (0)21 660 715