Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in our latest outdoor installation. Quasi, a five-metre-tall sculpture of the artist's hand and facial features, was unveiled this morning on the Gallery's rooftop, next to Gloucester Street.
Van Hout’s highly visible work is a continuation of the Outer Spaces programme, which has been running since 2009.
Director Jenny Harper says Quasi is a larger-than-life work that will make people laugh, think and discuss.
'If there’s one thing that has defined post-quake Christchurch, it’s our creativity, and Quasi is a wonderfully bold continuation of that,' she says.
'When the Gallery was closed for earthquake repairs, our Outer Spaces projects brought art out into the central city, taking over walls, temporary hoardings and vacant lots. We also installed another of Ronnie’s rooftop works, Comin’ Down, above C1 Espresso on High Street.
'Now that we are open again, Outer Spaces is back home, exploring new sites in and around the Gallery.
'Quasi’s arrival means the Gallery is now completely surrounded by art, facing outward to greet the city from all directions. It signals the energy and activity going on around us, and it’s up there for everyone to enjoy,' she adds.
The Gallery commissioned van Hout to create Quasi specifically for temporary installation on its rooftop. The towering work comprises a central steel structure covered with polystyrene and painted resin, and will be on display until 2017.
The Gallery owns nine works by van Hout, including two smaller-scale sculptures.