Central city  |  13 Aug 2019

Inspired by a cathedral spire, a multi-coloured interactive lighting display is brightening up Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.

Installed under the “Light Up the City” initiative organised by the Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places programme, the Spire changes colour as people move around the artwork.

The work was chosen by public vote after three designs were shortlisted for consideration following a Council call for suggestions to help invigorate the central city.

Co-designer Julieanne Eason – along with fellow Shades Arcade lighting designer Carl Pavletich – wanted to further explore the interaction of movement and light, and “Light Up the City” provided the opportunity.

Ms Eason says the installation has come from a “desire to make something quite tall and monumental, like mystical shards that have landed from outer space, or standing stones that have their own way of communicating between themselves and the interactions around them”.

“The form of the artwork was inspired by a cathedral spire, so it's fitting that it’s situated in the Square,” she says.

Light shines out of each of the nine pyramid shapes. Proximity sensors are installed and when people are detected moving around the artwork, each light switches to a different colour.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says the installation adds an entertaining and imaginative lit feature to Cathedral Square, drawing people to the central city.

Spire encourages interaction, and is a fun-focused, highly creative installation that takes centre stage in one of the city’s most-loved areas,” she says.

“It is designed for all ages to enjoy, and we hope that people take the time to gaze at the stunning effect.”