Holding together

This is the work I got reminded of this week:”How you have held things”, commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery as part of their Outer Spaces project while the gallery was closed after the earthquakes.

How you have held things

It was a moment when I really realised (got told) how much art still matters, even after such a traumatic event. I built it with a team of installers, on a site where a house had been taken away. I listened to people’s stories: the earth became liquid, everything smashed. I looked at the ways buildings were being held up:by scaffolds, wooden towers of effort to retain part of what had been a home. Because a part still connects us to the whole.

Christchurch cathedral is lit up at the moment at night, to signify that work on it is coming. It is broken, beautiful, shining and being held up. We are so fragile and strong, just like this.

I worried while I built this work, in the snow and mud, that it was too messy (always messy). That it is not a bronze-is it what people want here?

At the opening, people hugged me, and cried, and said ‘you got it’, ‘that’s just what it was like.’ they told me things I’ve never forgotten. They showed me that yes, we are messy, and beautiful too, and being seen like that and honoured in our beauty and brokenness, is worth it.

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