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Celebrating 10 years of cabinet art in Otautahi Christchurch

Wednesday, March 9, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: arts, built environment

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 8th March 2022

A joint initiative between Christchurch City Council’s Graffiti Team and telecommunications provider Chorus has helped turn dozens of mundane metal cabinets into small works of art.

The idea originated from an Auckland-based trial conducted by Chorus which found decorating with art works helped to decrease the frequency of graffiti vandalism. 

It proved so successful the programme was extended to towns and cities around the country, including to Christchurch in 2012.

Now in its tenth year of operation, the Council’s Graffiti Programme has formed a great working relationship with Chorus over that time, says Council Graffiti Team Leader Valerie Merryweather.

“This initiative has proven to be very successful in supporting artists and community groups, while at the same time combatting graffiti vandalism,” Mrs Merryweather says.

“We continue to be amazed and delighted by the wonderful designs our talented artists in Ōtautahi Christchurch come up with.”

The Graffiti Programme manages the mural project, sourcing artists and designs and overseeing the completion of murals.

Chorus Community Relations Manager Jo Seddon says that makes sense. "They know their communities – right from where the graffiti vandalism problems are to what kind of art would best suit the area.

“We know we are going to get amazing art works on our cabinets, which is a win for everyone. Murals are just one tool in the ongoing war with graffiti vandalism but we are pleased to be playing our part,” Mrs Seddon says.

All cabinet designs from around the country are eligible to feature in an annual calendar, with three from Christchurch making the cut last year.

Artists Isabella Cobb, Ira Mitchell and Jacob Clark all had their murals selected – no mean feat, says Mrs Seddon.

“It speaks volumes about the talent that’s here in the city.”

There are just over 770 cabinets around Christchurch of which around 110 have so far been painted.