Friday, 30 September 2011

Christchurch Landmarks in the Red Zone

It's our final weekend and the gems keep coming in...

Today engineer Andrew and a colleague hosted brooches into the red zone for the first time. So we could resist sharing these straight away. Christchurch's two major landmarks: The Cathedral, and The National. (more photos to come after the weekend).

Final Days + Host A Brooch exhibition Auckland

Host A Brooch is now drawing to a close.  Our final day for participation is this FRIDAY 30th September.  The container will be open from 10am – 4pm, and we welcome you to take a brooch on your own unique urban adventure on our final day.

You are warmly invited to join us on Saturday 1st of October, between 10am & 4pm to celebrate the closing of the project. This will be a chance to see how the project has unfolded. Jacqui has been busy compiling and designing a Catalogue for Host A Brooch. Participants can come and pick up their free copy. 

For those of you further afield we'll send you a copy for $5 (incl postage). Email us here.

The project has certainly grown beyond our wildest imaginings. The container wall is constantly changing with new photos from each weekend's escapades.
Enmasse they present an inspiring picture of lively occupation of the city and jewellery's potential to activate connections with our urban surroundings. If you haven't seen the photos already you can see them on Flickr, and here on the blog.
For those of you who have joined us already, a big thank you all for your wonderful contributions to the project.  We hope you can make it down to see your photos on the wall!

See you soon!


HOST A BROOCH Exhibition in Auckland:
If you are in Auckland, you won’t be totally missing out... Jacqui will be presenting the brooches and documentation of Host A Brooch at Masterworks in Ponsonby next week.  We will both be there for the opening next Wednesday 5th October at 5.30pm and Jacqui will be giving an artist talk at 6.30pm. Love to see you there.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Host A Brooch: the full spectrum...

Thanks once again to another weekend of enthusiastic and thoughtful brooch-hosters.
This weekend saw some of the most adventurous adventures, hilarious escapades, as well as a more emotional experiences.

More than ever, active engagement was pushed to the limit with brooch-inspired bodily interactions with the urban environment. Adventures were wide ranging, collectively taking in the cordons, the park, and the museum. Road cones featured prominently as both theatrical props and body adornment.
Christchurch's Triadic Ballet?

Soldiers, workmen in high-vis and even Mr Whippy were co-opted for photos...
geared up for sewage inspection

And Regan and Lennie's 'C-O-N-TEMPORARY' photo topped as our favourite to date, summing up Host A Brooch perfectly: contemporary jewellery making the most of a temporary situation.

Peoples emotional responses varied hugely. Many found the project charged their sense of optimism about the city's potential for recovery. One inner city resident sat stoically in front of a collapsed house, commenting that the juxtaposition of wearing this 'contemporary object'* with the old and damaged behind her made her feel 'grounded' (*She didn't realise the brooches were made from demolition materials). The young girl accompanying her, when asked, said she just felt 'dusty'.

However, for others the experience stirred heavier feelings of sadness, grief and vulnerability, as their brooches drew them for the first time towards scenes of destruction. Some felt challenged to confront the reality of the city and the accompanying sense grief and uncertainty. One woman arrived excited to host a brooch, anticipating a light-hearted fun experience. However she was shocked to find her walk deeply moving and almost overwhelming: she returned after just half an hour. For her it stirred trauma from her younger life, saying 'I think this was one of the most intense experiences in my life'. In a similar vein, a woman the previous weekend commented that brooch number 7, worn by her young daughter, drew her attention to the ubiquitous bright orange structures flanking the city's streets. She explained she usually maintained a positive outlook by focusing on beautiful things - flowers, trees and intact buildings - and ignoring the rest. She felt this particular brooch forced to confront the actuality of the situation and felt 'almost horrified at the devastation of the city everywhere'. This made me realise that the brooches not only heightened awareness of people's surroundings and physical relations with them, but also their coping mechanisms.

Over the past five weekends photos from Host A Brooch have been accumulating and filling the container - as many coming down as going up. This meant the container has begun to operate as an exhibition with a large number local passersby, tourists and rugby fans pausing to look over the photos. We're currently busy compiling some of these a small catalogue that documents the project. The catalogue will also include text about the project and writing by Christchurch writer Sally Blundell sharing her experiences of hosting brooches.
All participants are invited to come on Saturday (the 1st) to collect a copy. These will also be available to the public for a few dollars.

See you then.