CHCH CBD - Photoshots - the web folio of Tony Stewart.


If I am being 100% honest, I have to confess to being sick of most things ‘earthquake’. Two years on since the Feb 22 Quake, and the adrenaline has truly worn off. The reality now is tiresome security questions calling EQC, and traffic disruption from endless roadworks. Though this is nothing new really – that all started some time ago!

If I am being equally honest, there is also some allure in photographing a once familiar landscape, that now bears more resemblance to an alien wasteland. The photos seen here, I took yesterday in between appointments, along Manchester and Tuam St’s (except one shot earlier, taken in Aranui).

Now, it is perhaps misleading showing this alone, as to an outsider you can get a distorted picture of what is happening in the Central City. As we enter a rebuild phase, there is certainly a lot of new work happening, and I have neglected to depict that. But again being honest, it doesn’t have the same raw appeal. Besides, there are health and safety tutorials, site reg’s, PPE rules,… it just isn’t as simple!

I find it intriguing, that the following on from the carnage caused by the earthquakes, the city has yielded a degree of ‘revelation’. Old painted signage is exposed for the first time in decades. Picture theatres once majestic and glorious, now lie bare to the elements, vunerable and broken. Surreptitious entrances are now belied by gigantic signage and arrows. Modern and old architecture are equally rendered redundant, void of purpose and life blood.

I suspect much of it won’t be round for too much longer. Whether I am sick of it or not, I think we owe it to the history of this city, to retain some record. (Goodness knows, the National Library can’t be relied to do it all!).