After last year’s breakthrough with the RISE Festival, the city of Christchurch in New Zealand hosts a big street art festival, putting this lovely town on the map of the most important street art festivals in the world. As part of the Oi YOU! project, the SPECTRUM Festival is presenting an international line-up of major street artists. The Canterbury Museum in Christchurch is the central venue together with the YMCA Hareford Street, where different programs and artists are planned to cover all the street art directions and approaches, as well as a wide range of topics that inspire the most significant street artist. The people behind the Oi YOU! collection that organizes the SPECTRUM festival are two Britons – George Shaw and Shannon Webster – who moved their activities to New Zealand in 2009.
One street in Christchurch with quite unusual, yet familiar name for many, YMCA Hareford Street, will become a big and vibrant public space where many activities of the SPECTRUM Festival take place. The street art activities in this small street become a real museum of modern street art, the homage to some of the pioneers of the movement. In this street, a wide range of activities are planned, that will complement the already existing painted walls. Wild Style and Substance pays homage to the graffiti kings of New York from 1970s and 1980s whose work led to the foundations of the modern street art movement. The Christchurch-based artists Dr Suits, Jen, Porta, Reuben Woods and Xpres Izm worked on the installations with the common name Stick em up in which the visitors will be able to experience paste-ups and stickers street art techniques. The collaboration between Sofles and filmmaker Selina Miles that has been lasting for more than a decade produced the films about graffiti art. Yet, this time the duo worked on a huge installation entitled Quicksilver, with lights, sound and paint twisted in a way to provoke unique immersive experience for the viewer. The Enter Through the Thrift Shop by Milton Springsteen plays with corporate logos, advertising hoardings and famous paintings. Springsteen spent two years visiting shops to find unwanted artworks. By modifying and reworking the artworks and corporate logos, he paints the walls that also address social and political issues. One more interesting Christchurch street and graffiti art crew known as the DTR Crew collaborated with major street artists, and their works will be shown as well, promoting once again local New Zealand growing street and graffiti art movement.
The SPECTRUM Festival gathers truly major street artists of the international scene. We have already mentioned Sofles and his collaboration with Selina Miles. The famous French street artist Tilt will present his Panic Room with installations unique for their composition of colors. Exactly 50% of white is opposed to a cacophony of color. His work will be shown at the YMCA venue, together with Banksy’s works. Another internationally recognized street artist, Adnate, will be present at the SPECTRUM Festival. This brilliant artist is probably most famous for his large-scale portraits and his use of spray paint which carries his unique realistic style. Probably the most famous street artist from New Zealand, Owen Dippie is well-known for his large scale, photo-realistic artworks that are created using only spray color. Dippie’s fellow countryman Jacob Yikes and his works will be on show, with Yikes’ colorful graffiti characterized by decorative and a bit bizarre compositions. At the SPECTRUM street art festival, the amazing works by Buff Monster, Cope2, Dcypher and Flox will be on show as well.
The Banksy Collection is a special accompanying part of the SPECTRUM Festival in Christchurch. It is composed of the some of the best known pieces by this extraordinary artist. The Flower Thrower, Kids on Guns, Kate Moss are only few of the many other famous pieces in this collection, together with Collection’s memorabilia, which comprises of Banksy stickers, postcards, and the famous 10 pound banknotes. Without any doubts, the Banksy Collection is going to be the one of the highlights of the festival.
Let’s mention again the roster of major street artists at the SPECTRUM Festival: Adnate, Buff Monster, Cope2, Dcupher, Flox, Jacob Yikes, Owen Dippie, Sofles and Tilt; and parallel with this amazing list, the Banksy Collection. Some works will be on show at The Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, while the others will be at the YMCA Hareford Street. The SPECTRUM Festival in Christchurch begins on February 14th, and it will last until May 10th.
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All images used for illustrative purposes only.