Michael Parekowhai: Chapman's Homer at PlaceMakers Riccarton

January – April 2015

Christchurch's favourite bull can now be found at PlaceMakers Riccarton. That may sound a bit unusual, but these are strange times.

In the winter of 2012 Chapman's Homer became a symbol of the extraordinary resilience of the people of Christchurch – and thanks to the generosity of thousands, the great bronze bull standing on a piano is now part of the city's collection.

Chapman’s Homer was initially shown in Madras Street and later at the Arts Centre during the Arts Festival. Next Christchurch City Council hosted him where tourists, council and CERA staff and customers got to see him... and now he’s being seen by a new crowd — builders. Grant and Sandra Close, owners of PlaceMakers Riccarton, were among our Leaders of the Charge during the initial fundraising and enthusiastically signed up as our first bull sitters. Like us, they believe that good art really matters in Christchurch. They also reckon their customers are creative in how they are helping to craft this new city. 

Michael Parekowhai is one of New Zealand's most important contemporary artists, known for his witty, larger-than-life sculptures. Chapman's Homer was part of an installation called On first looking into Chapman's Homer created by the artist for the 2011 Venice Biennale of Art. Our bull stood beside his seated brother against the backdrop of post-earthquake central Christchurch, while a red carved Steinway piano was played upstairs in an adjacent building. Over thirty days, more than 50,000 people got out of their cars to see and photograph the two bulls on the edge of Christchurch's red zone.

Purchased 2013 with the assistance of Christchurch City Council's Public Art Fund and Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation; with thanks to Westpac, IAG, Ben and Penny Gough, Chartwell Trust, Ravenscar Trust, Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, Grant and Sandra Close, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Kevin and Joanna Hickman, Stewart and Nati Kaa, Tony Kerridge, McFadden family, Andrew and Jenny Smith, Chapman Tripp, Colliers, Meadow Mushrooms, MWH Ltd, Pace Project Management, The Press; and with additional thanks for contributions from 1,074 big-hearted individuals and companies.

  • Exhibition number:
    977
Come down and say hi, pat his nose or hoof, and snap him in a selfie. Upload your selfies at BULLder.co.nz for a chance to win thousands of dollars of prizes.

– bullder.co.nz