A new home for Form Gallery in the new arts hub of Christchurch Photos: Kate McCaskill
Following a 16 month hiatus from a formal gallery space, Christchurch object art gallery Form, has finally found a permanent home. The grand re-opening last Saturday week was officially launched by Anthony Wright, Director of Canterbury Museum, a long-time supporter of Form. Situated in a prime location on the corner of Colombo and Byron Streets in what’s purported to be the new cultural hub of Sydenham, it’s been a long time coming for owner and jeweller Koji Miyazaki. Formerly housed within the majestic Christchurch Art Gallery for the past eight years, Form was forced to relocate following the February quake when it was taken over by the civil defense as earthquake headquarters. Like many resourceful Christchurch business owners in the wake of the quakes, Koji set up shop in his modern Cashmere home, transforming it into a welcoming art space where he hosted ten exhibitions dubbed the ‘Home Edition’.
As I spoke with Koji in the week leading up to the re-opening while he showed me around his newly appointed two story gallery and workshop (for himself and two other jewellers), I sensed a man who’s still holding his breath before allowing himself to bask in his latest achievement. One can hardly blame him given the hurdles and disappointments he’s had to overcome throughout these unsettling and unpredictable times. Speaking to Koji about his aspirations for Form’s new city location in Sydenham, he shares his hopes of developing this area into the city’s new arts precinct. Just across the road from Gap Filler‘s art installation, I seem to have temporarily misplaced by sense of humour by New Zealand artist Wayne Youle, and just a minute’s walk from the revamped The Colombo which is set to welcome the Jonathan Smart Gallery in the near future, there’s no doubt in my mind his dream will come to fruition with his tenacity and in collaboration with other creatives around the city.
To celebrate this exciting new chapter, Lyttelton based jeweller Elfi Spiewack opened the launch with a solo exhibition, Fragments. Exploring her own personal loss (of her Lyttelton studio), as well as the collective loss we have all suffered in the aftermath of the devastating quakes, Spiewack’s pieces use shards of broken china – something which has come to symbolise loss to every Cantabrian – and fragments of historical text about Canterbury embossed on stainless steel and zinc. The exhibition runs until 1 September.
Stairwell leading to another two rooms on the first floor Photos: Kate McCaskill
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