Life-sized metal sculptures bring Christchurch street to life

Luke Parker
Life-sized metal sculptures bring Christchurch street to life

Hannah Kidd, Timothy Stableman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Milford Galleries Dunedin.

Inspiration can spark anywhere and at any time for metal sculptor Hannah Kidd.

The Methven-based artist has produced hundreds of unique pieces including a man driving a ride-on lawn mower, a range of dog breeds, social scenes and a monkey riding on the back of a pig.

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Her most recent is 4 life-sized figures which will feature along the Public Art Walkway in Re:START - part of SCAPE 8 Public Art Christchurch Biennial.

SCAPE Public Art is Christchurch charitable trust which installs free-to-view contemporary public art in Christchurch city.

The walkway will open to the public on the weekend of 3-4 October and lead to Westpac Art Central which will showcase more local and international artists’ projects including world-renowned sculptor Antony Gormley from the UK.

Hannah says it’s a real privilege to be asked to showcase her work.

“I people to be able to recognise a piece of themselves in the figures or to think about somebody else in a different way. People cope and deal with things in a very individual manor.”

She started sculpting straight out of art school in 2002 and has been using steel and corrugated iron as material since 2003.


Hannah Kidd

“There is something inherent in me that just needs to make stuff. I think lots of people are like that, it just comes out in different ways…You, gardening, jigsaw puzzles.”

She says inspiration for her art can come from anywhere. 

“It can be anything, but mostly people - listening to a programme on the radio, reading, seeing something over a fence, over-hearing a conversation, or other people’s artwork. Sometimes a title arrives first and I have to make the work to fit.”

Each piece can take anywhere from 2 days to months at a time to complete.

Hannah’s art has been exhibited and sold in countries all around the world including Australia, Austria and Denmark.

The SCAPE Public Art Christchurch Biennial is curated by New Zealand-born international curator Rob Garrett who returned to Christchurch last year after several years away.

“It was obvious how the City’s new appearance plays tricks on the memories of locals and visitors alike,” Rob says. “Standing in places once shaped by familiar landmarks – a friend’s place, a favourite café or bookstore – I wondered if the SCAPE 8 public art projects could, in some very modest way, help people form new, memorable and intimate connections with the fabric of the city as it is now. The artists I invited to participate have each been inspired by the same desire.”

HannahKidd Tanya Browns GingerTom 2015

Hannah Kidd, Tanya Brown GingerTom, 2015

He says the title for the 2015 Biennial – New Intimacies – comes from the idea that visually striking and emotionally engaging public art works can create new connections between people and places. Under the main theme of New Intimacies there are three other themes that artists will respond to: Sight-Lines, Inner Depths and Shared Strengths.

The 7 artists exhibiting are Nathan Pohio (Kati Mamoe, Ngai Tahu and Waitaha), Christchurch; Pauline Rhodes , Christchurch; Hannah Kidd, Methven; Fiona Jack, Auckland; Judy Millar, Auckland/Berlin; Peter Atkins, Australia; and Antony Gormley, from Norfolkshire, United Kingdom.

Each will also be involved in talks, guided tours and public workshops until November 15, 2015.

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