Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Monday, May 23, 2011


It seems that when CNZ facilitated a meeting in Christchurch on April 27 there had already occurred an exclusive Rapture wherein all of Christchurch's artists were taken up to heaven and thus unavailable to be at a meeting (as reported in the CCH Press) of the so-called Christchurch Arts Community.

I've heard a first person account of the meeting - reporting the presence of two artists (total) in attendance. These artists were accidently flushed out - of a crowd comprised of arts administrators and bureaucrats - by a heedless question wherein someone inquired about the need of studio space in the quake aftermath. The crowd was reportedly embarrassed - either by the fact that someone would think to ask a question about working space or by the fact that two artists provocateurs had somehow slipped through the invitation filtering process. (I make a little joke)

I sent a couple of emails to the biggest 'dogs' at CNZ expressing my concern that there were no artists on the Arts Voice Christchurch Committee - a committee that is supposedly charged with advocating the post-disaster arts in Canterbury.

While the letters I got back were polite it seemed to me that the email's author was mostly concerned with expressing a sort of generalized concern and support for the Christchurch arts scene and with disassociating CNZ from any direct connection to Arts Voice Christchurch. What a surprise. (I make another little joke)

The CNZ guy suggested I contact Arts Voice Christchurch directly with "my concerns" and kindly supplied a link to the hitherto free-floating think tank.

When I clicked the link here's what I got:

At a meeting facilitated by Creative New Zealand on Wednesday 27th April a 7 member committee was elected by attendees to represent the arts community of Christchurch. Your elected representatives on Arts Voice Christchurch are:

Deborah McCormick, Director, Art & Industry Biennial Trust & SCAPE Christchurch Biennials (

Steph Walker, General Manager, Christchurch Arts Festival (

Dr. George Parker, member of Free Theatre Christchurch and manager of Te Puna Toi Performance Research Project (

Philip Aldridge, Chief Executive, The Court Theatre (

James Caygill, CEO, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Southern Opera (

Sean Whitaker, General Manager, Christchurch School of Music (

As for Artists? Not a One.

If you think such an arrangement suits you - Arts Voice sans Artists- then by all means remain mute and in your place. Speak when you are spoken to.

Or, let these folks know that you find the committee as it stands (without artists) unacceptable to members of the REAL Christchurch Art Community....i.e. working artists.

Just sayin'.