Winners/Losers was a series created in 2012 [and there was some flow-on into 2013] which repeated the image of a coin operated horse (which I named ‘Silver’) over the 12 month period. 2012 was a year after the major Christchurch earthquakes and the city was beginning to feel the enormity of the task to get back on its feet. Much of the city was damaged, particularly the inner city and the eastern suburbs and decisions had already been made about the Red Zone [a vast track of land to the east of the city that would be taken over by the Crown with all land and dwellings to be bought by the Crown and a process of demolition had commenced.

For me, as an artist, there were fewer and fewer opportunities to exhibit in the city now almost bereft of dealer galleries and the rest of the country tiring of the images coming out of Christchurch through the MSM. Days started to feel the same and offered up few answers to everyday issues. Groundhog Day presented itself. This series of works is built around the notion of daily sameness but looks to enthusiasm for change. The painting of the same image repeatedly was therapeutic and in a funny way provided stability in a year that offered none in other quarters. Living in a house that required earthquake repairs, waiting in an invisible line of bureaucracy for decisions to be made for which, day by day, you had lesser control over the outcome, was debilitating for all. Naming the coin operated horse ‘Silver’ enabled some degree of gilding the event. Making the cost of the ride 2/- [two shillings] (even though NZ had been decimal since 1967) was recognition of the Mayor of the day (Bob Parker), so the rides were ‘to bob’ or two shillings using Kiwi slang.

The work illustrated (below) is 30 Pieces of silver. The major piece in the series it has references to dwellings demolished in the Red Zone though numbering on the left hand edge, each number a real house/dwelling number. The numbers chosen, using a numerology counting sequence, number 1 to 30 without a duplicate number. The concept around the 30 pieces of Silver references the biblical with the payouts made by the Crown for damaged land.

Campbell Live filmed the works and interviewed me on the my state of mind after the earthquakes in a segment they titles The Recurring Horse Theme that you might still find on the internet.

These works may get out for exhibition this year when I show with Philip Trusstum and Eon Stevens at Chambers Gallery.

30 pieces of silver