Public art is something that's available to everyone, not just individual art lovers, which is one of the reasons why I love it. It forms part of a city's identity and offers useful way finders and symbols that just feel like home.
We all have those special works of art that we connect with on a personal level, as we pass them on our way to work or, during our lunch breaks or days when we wander around the city.
So many of these have been brought to us by SCAPE.
Deborah McCormick has been at the helm since its inception – well supported by the incredible teams who are highlighted in this book. Looking at the photos I find it hard to believe that this all started 20 years ago.
Magic things have happened as the programme evolved from the ‘unholy alliance of art and commerce’ to the annual festivals we enjoy in spring, and which bring opportunities to explore new artworks in new sites across this city.
It is in this context that we can see the power of art to inspire us and at the same time to challenge us - both personally and as a city.
The wonderful thing is that our response to art invites us to engage with others, which can lead to conversations about ourselves, who we are and what we value.
SCAPE Public Art brings to our urban landscape a mix of public artworks that reflect diverse cultural origins, reflecting the way we are evolving as a city, and made even more poignant in the face of the tragedies we have experienced.
By embracing diversity - whether in our reaction to art or simply in the way we are open to hearing the stories of our neighbours, both near and far - we foster connection with each other and help build a sense of community that transcends all boundaries.
We know that art has the power to draw us closer to each other and to help us heal when we need to.
So please enjoy the stories in the book that so many of you here tonight have been and always will be part of.
Thank you, Deborah McCormick, and thank you SCAPE Public Art for all you do for our city.
To Warren Feeney, this book is a wonderful record of SCAPE and the rich history of Christchurch’s public art – so far.
We all look forward to seeing what the future of SCAPE has to offer.
And on that note:
It gives me great pleasure to officially launch this book; Out There: SCAPE Public Art 1999-2018.
I would now like to welcome forward the author, Warren Feeney.