Monday, March 21, 2011


So, one month ago tomorrow, I did some fun artwork on the Good Morning Show with Brendon Pongia. We had a few laughs, made some poured acrylic paintings and I tootled off to have some lunch and think about my book illustration project in the afternoon. Then I got a text from a friend to say Christchurch had been hit by a massive quake and all my plans went out the window. The past month has been distracting to say the least; worrying about friends and family, glued to facebook and the news media...

But at some point we have to pick up and get on with things; my book illustration job is underway, family have gone back to Christchurch to mend their broken houses and jobs and queue for coffee (now is a very good time to have a mobile coffee cart in Canterbury from all reports). And friends are wondering what to do with their precious possessions that are ‘munted’ (now a Christchurch colloquialism).  

A very fine Christchurch illustrator friend, Jenny Cooper, had a good idea.

‘Don't chuck out your broken plates! Christchurch needs them! Let's all keep our precious broken plates, mugs, jugs, vases, tiles..... anything that was beautiful and has a memory attached..... if we pop them in a box and tuck it away in the garage, in 6 months we can organise a memorial mosaic sculpture, perhaps in the Botanic gardens. Perhaps craft people and mosaic specialists will help, and we can re-use these lovely irreplaceable old bits of china, maybe build some benches or a garden, think of how lovely The Giant's House in Akaroa is. Have spoken to a City Council Member who says yes go for it, please repost this to everyone in Christchurch who might be interested.... it might not happen overnight, but it will happen!’

I like good ideas, so I thought I’d get the ball rolling (or the plates as it were) by making something from a piece of cracked ceramic ware on The Good Morning Show on Tuesday 22nd March at 9.30am.

Jenny sent me her smashed Katie Gold handbag pieces carefully packaged in bubble wrap to which I then took a hammer (sorry Katie- I was very respectful about it) and created the flower pot you see here. I’m no expert mosaic artist and am learning as I go; there is enough of the broken ceramic to make three small pots looking ‘same same but different.' By the time I’ve finished the third one I’ll be far more useful to the project Jenny is proposing for Christchurch. In 6 months time I’d like to go down there and be a part of creating a public artwork with anyone else keen to be involved. If you have broken china, we have a place to store it, just email me for the details. 

We’ll be looking for sponsors to help with this by way of materials; tile adhesive, grout etc (btw...the fabulous Bunnings donated me the materials for my flower pot) And like all good ideas, we figure this will just evolve creatively and purposefully until it becomes a beautiful and functional reality. Just like the rebuilding of Christchurch :)


Melinda Szymanik said...

Like a phoenix from the ashes or a poppy from the battlefield. This will be something new and beautiful for people to come and see. I'm thinking maybe something Gaudi inspired?

Janet keen Artist, Writer, Photographer, Teacher said...

Cute pot, like the green. Saw you doing the mice on TV. Really cute. So is Brendon, bet he's lovely to work with. I have a mouse in my house which my cat bought in. I'd rather have a felt one. Never made a mouse before, might have a go in air dried clay.
Cheers Janet Keen

Anonymous said...

Good idea. I heard last week on Radio NZ an item about a company which repairs precious items. They are going to pick up a lot of items from Chch and bring them to Auckland . They reckon they can deal even with glass and repair it so you can't tell it was smashed. They advised people that they might just want to choose one special item that is important to them or their family. [probably a costly job one thinks.] They also advised if one was sending broken items to a repairer to still encase it in bubble wrap and preferably triple box it. I look forward to the inspired pieces that may result in Chch.