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Our presently-closed city Art Gallery has taken its exhibition out doors in Worcester Boulevard.  It’s worth an hour or so to take in the well-assembled collection showing what our city was like, in history, along with photographs of earthquake wrecked once-familiar views.  I visited on a week day which made it somewhat poignant with the sounds of nearby demolition machinery all too audible.  Also a tad poignant is the exhibition stretching back along the tram track from the Art Gallery, stop three.  I was interested to see the Art Gallery shop, across the boulevard, had re-opened.

Called Reconstruction: Conversations on a City, the exhibition features 56 large panels including, amongst other images, copies of several art gallery works.  I enjoyed a John Gibb work of Lyttelton Harbour.  So murky is the air from early steam ships, local women complained their washing never looked clean.  I also eyeballed a work, Reflections by William Dunning, showing a 1979 impression of Cathedral Square.  This one very much reminded me of my more youthful years in Christchurch.  I remembered the style of Christchurch Metro buses and the once-familiar Regent Theatre dome.

A compelling visual impression of our city’s development along with what was destroyed by seismic events, I was left wondering what our future will look like.  I admit to feeling worried what will emerge.  Will we run with the idea of a creative, sustainable, people-friendly city?  And what did those Napier people think during the 1930s when their earthquake-ravaged city was to re-emerge in a new-fangled Art Deco style?  Get along and have a look.

The exhibition, aimed at getting people back to the CBD, will close on September 16.

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