Re-tour (pen vs earthquake)

Pen vs earthquake #4 – Retour/Edmonds Band Rotunda, 2013
Pen vs earthquake #4 – Retour/Edmonds Band Rotunda, 2013

The iconic Thomas Edmonds band rotunda opened in 1929. It was converted into a restaurant in the 1980s and was operating as Retour Restaurant at the time of the Christchurch earthquakes. It was officially ‘deconstructed’ in 2012. The structurally sound dome has been removed and some of the less damaged columns, balustrades and steps have been salvaged. So at least that’s something.

My pen vs earthquake series is proving to be quite challenging. It’s taking me into parts of the inner city I haven’t seen for months and I’m never sure what I’m going to find… sometimes there is nothing left of the original building to photograph. How exactly do you photograph nothing? And why would you want to?

Anna Cull Pen vs earthquake Retour

The sketch is originally from this student project (click on the link and scroll down). The photographs were taken last month. Ben Heine’s amazing Pencil Vs Camera images were my initial inspiration. There are links below to more of my ‘pen vs earthquake’ images.

Pen vs earthquake #1 – Mona Vale, 2013

Pen vs earthquake #2 – The Octagon, Design & Arts College and the Hotel Grand Chancellor, 2013

Pen vs earthquake #3 – Shand’s Emporium, 2013

10 thoughts on “Re-tour (pen vs earthquake)

  1. Wow, that’s too bad such a historic, nice building was damaged beyond repair. Very unique structure. Will the dome be left where it is?

    1. I don’t know what will happen to the dome. There’s even a chance that the band rotunda may be rebuilt (which would be wonderful)… but I don’t think they’ve decided what to do with it yet.

      1. Hmmm – I suppose it would happen at tax payer expense aye? I am still waiting for my first earthquake here in Las Vegas. My wife has been through tons of them, being from California….

  2. Makes me think of how the Russians, following WWII, rebuilt such an astonishing number of their historic buildings in exact detail. Even a communist government couldn’t stand to loose those architectural treasures, though most of them were monuments to religion and aristocracy. I hope your lovely little dome gets a good home, maybe even atop a replica band rotunda. We are so quick these days to “throw things away.”

  3. Hi Anna! I know you have more than enough blog awards under your belt and file them quietly on your awards page these days, so this is more of a symbolic shout out than anything else. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award – with admiration and appreciation xx

    1. Thanks so much, Psyren. I’m tickled to find out that I was your first real reader! I’ve just posted a link to your blog on my Blog Awards page — hopefully it will send a few more readers your way : )

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