The last autumn

This commission was a bit special, both for the client and for me. The Press Building was the home of The Press newspaper from 1909 until February 2011. A beautiful building situated in Cathedral Square, it was one of the casualties of the Christchurch 2010–2011 earthquakes. Even though the painting shows its last autumn (in 2010), we wanted it to represent happier times and evoke fond memories.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The painting is a combination of two of my In the Style of… paintings: the building and tree from The Press and the leaves from Tram. The red geraniums originally appeared in Press Lane, an experimental sketch I did in 2013. I photographed the final painting on a dull day — the tree is actually very dark brown, not black. And at 40″ x 54″ (1015mm x 1370mm), it’s my largest ever painting.

Time warp (pen vs earthquake)

Pen vs earthquake #7 – Jubilee Clock Tower, 2014
Pen vs earthquake #7 – Jubilee Clock Tower, 2014

This coming Sunday will be the fourth anniversary of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that rocked Christchurch (22nd February 2011). Four years on and we are still the City of Orange Road Cones. One sign of progress is the restoration of the Jubilee Clock Tower ― the road cones are now gone and the clock is no longer frozen in time!

Jubilee Clock Tower, 2014
Jubilee Clock Tower, 2014
Other pen vs earthquake updates:

The deconstructed band rotunda Retour is still in a sorry state. I have no idea what they plan to do with the dome that has been salvaged.

As far as I know, Christchurch resident Peter Croft is still planning to restore Shand’s Emporium but progress has been slow, apparently due to new city council rules and regulations.
Update: Shand’s Emporium touches down on Manchester Street, Christchurch. June 2015

The Octagon is being repaired and earthquake strengthened, and work is finally underway on Mona Vale Homestead. If all goes according to plan, Mona Vale will re-open in June 2016.

My pen vs earthquake sketches are originally from a student project. Ben Heine’s ingenious Pencil Vs Camera images inspired the series.

Honouring our past

Anna Cull Earthquake editorial quote

“If we do not honour our past, we lose our future. If we destroy our roots, we cannot grow.” Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Commemorating the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in which 185 people lost their lives. Many homes, businesses and heritage buildings were destroyed. We are still a city in recovery. This is a period in history which will, no doubt, be remembered as both the breaking and the making of our city.

The way things are

Pen vs earthquake buildings in situ
Pen vs earthquake buildings in situ
Christchurch, looking northeast, December 2013
Christchurch, looking northeast, December 2013

Following on from yesterday’s pen vs earthquake post, here are a couple of aerial photographs showing the location of three more buildings from the series. I’ve included Cathedral Square for context. Click on the photos for a closer look.

I wish I had a ‘before’ photo to show you that the landscape in these photos is just plain wrong ― beige and boxy and wrong…

Christchurch, looking southwest, December 2013
Christchurch, looking southwest, December 2013