Art & creativity  |  1 Dec 2023

Art emerging from concrete cracks and crevices, wooden flowers taking bloom, and an artistic treasure hunt is just the beginning of Christchurch’s newest street art installation.

Little Street Art Festival came to life last week, bringing urban street art to Ōtautahi Christchurch, including miniature sculptures, urban paintings and participatory projects.

“The aim of this festival is to encourage people to explore their environment, take a closer look at their surroundings and find magic while they wander,” says festival director and Watch This Space creative director Reuben Woods.

“It’s a chance to normalise the experience of art throughout the city, create moments of wonder and change how people think about our streets.”

Lyttelton artist, teethlikescrewdrivers will bring on a game of hide and seek with hand-sharpened, screen-printed yellow pencils awaiting discovery on a trail in the central city.

A collaboration between Ghostcat and Jacob Yikes will see small sculptures emerging from wall crevices and tiny abstract paintings filling urban concrete cracks.

Multi-disciplinary artist, Dark Ballad will tell the story of Ōtautahi from colonisation, through the earthquakes and to its current form.

The festival also includes work from Nathan Ingram, Meep aka Kophie, Bloom, Jessie Rawcliffe and Ikarus.

“This programme is a passion project that Watch This Space have been working on for a while,” says Mr Woods.

“As well as fun for those visiting, we want it to be an aspirational platform for artists and allow them to benefit from the support of our city’s creative communities.

“We want to celebrate street art and provide local artists a platform for alternative forms of urban creativity.”

The festival will be packed with events and activations including guided walking tours, an artist panel talk, a spoon character workshop, a stencil activation and last week’s art hunt at Westfield Riccarton.

Further additions to existing projects will pop up throughout the festival, with some works remaining installed following the programmes end.

“The Little Street Art Festival will unlock the possibility of the cityscape with art embedded in our streets,” says Mr Woods.

“It will create a unique platform for artists whose work doesn’t necessarily translate into a big scale, and ones that don’t need to be permanent to engage an audience.”

The Little Street Art Festival will run until 4 December. The festival is the first project to be supported by Christchurch City Council’s new Toi Ōtautahi Arts and Cultural Sponsorship fund.

All images credited to Centuri Chan.