SHOWTIME! Reclaimed by Distranged Design

Jacob Root, a.k.a Distranged Design has a way of getting on with things – whether it is flying across the world to immerse himself in the creative scene in Los Angeles, or staging exhibitions of his work here in Ōtautahi Christchurch, he tends to find ways to make things happen. For his latest solo show, Reclaimed, he set about making a body of work that both explored new ways of making (from paint application to the use of up-cycled materials), and found a space through a mural contact – eventually coming to life in a weekend pop-up show.

The well-attended opening night, despite the drizzly Friday evening, showed that Distranged Design has built a solid following of fans eager to see his latest work. The showroom setting afforded a spacious and uncluttered layout for his large works, many painted on recycled palettes and found objects. The styles employed also highlighted a changing approach, clearly influenced by the artist’s increasingly large mural works. The stencil background is still apparent, including the Snik-inspired Moire-styled technique, but a new painterly approach, deploying more freely constructed layers, is arising, an approach the artist admits is, in part, to give relief from the work-heavy cutting process.

Despite his youth, Distranged Design has been a presence in Ōtautahi’s scene for several years, and Reclaimed shows an artist beginning to explore new paths…

Follow Distranged Design on Instagram to keep up to date…

Photos supplied by Watch This Space and Distranged Design

If you have a show or exhibition coming up – please let us know – we love to support local!

The Giant Cans Refresh

When you bring together three heavy hitting talents, the results should always be something special – and the latest refresh of the ‘permanent’ Giant Cans is testament to that truth! When we approached Ikarus, Jacob Yikes and Jessie Rawcliffe to paint the steel cylinders, we challenged them to take a different approach – rather than painting one can each, we asked the three artists to create a collaboration across the three cans. The result is stunning!

The three artists united behind a love of anime and specifically Dragon Ball – the iconic Japanese Manga – a fitting subject given the series’ creator Akira Toriyama had passed away in March 2024. The artists them considered ways to incorporate their signature styles within the familiar aesthetic of Toriyama’s world and beloved characters – exploring the potential and challenges of the circular shapes and multiple viewpoints – the result is a stunning, whirring work that is vibrant and intriguing.

Yikes’ otherworldly style is evident in the green, almost alien, landscape in which characters sit, framed as if contained within comic book panels. The giant dragon Shenron wraps around the three cans, entwining the setting within his mystical presence, clutching the magical, titular Dragon Balls. Rawcliffe’s realism is deployed to depict stylised versions of Pan and Android 18, giving new life to familiar characters. Ikarus’ graffiti traditions are evident in the bolts of text that add a sense of onomatopoeia to the scene, an energetic presence. Traditional representations of Goku and Vegeta, perhaps two of the most famous characters in the saga, and the cat-like Puar, add to the scene.

The various aspects combine into a cohesive production, but also present the need to move about, to explore different vantage points and lines of sight. Time to see it for yourself!

Photos by Watch This Space and Jessie Rawcliffe

Street Treats, Vol. 10

Street Treats is back with some tasty finds from Ōtautahi’s urban landscape. A reminder that we need to celebrate the little things that make us laugh, smile, think, curse, cry and everything in between. After all, what is a city but a site for each of us to exist and express ourselves? Each piece showcased here is the result of an action, a decision to leave something for others to encounter, a realisation that we can impact the experience of our fellow citizens. Sure, this sounds overly dramatic for a collection of peeling stickers and scrawled massages. But think a little deeper about what they each represent and what they contrast with, it makes the city an infinitely more interesting place. From twisted familiar icons to mysterious new names, a number of throwbacks, some political protest and humorous notations, this collection is a reminder of the myriad voices that make up our city…

This volume features: Klaudia Bartos, Dark Ballad, Sleeper, Bols, K.T., Dcypher, SPIKE, M+H, Ghstie, Misery, Fiasko, Jessie Rawcliffe and more…

And That Was… June 2024

So we are now more than half way through 2024 – which means we are on the highway to sunshine, good times and lots of street-y goodness! That might seem hard to believe, being that June was a bit damp, a bit grey and for many of us, a time to be indoors. But, we always have an eye, and ear, out for things that add some colour to our city – and of course, we love to share them with you every month in our recaps – check out what we loved in June…

Meep’s Navigation

On the side of ELIM Church on Cashel Street, Meep’s stunning Navigation is an incredible work – poignant, fresh and loaded with meaning – from Pasifika heritage and shared lineage, to climate change’s impact, this is a serious piece that will turn heads!

Dcypher celebrates our city…

Dcypher’s amazing new work on the corner of Manchester and Southwark Streets, is a celebration of our city’s changing profile – with the new stadium in the background, not a car can be seen, the light colour palette reflecting the clean green potential of our future.

Ghostcat’s Leave No Trace trail grows…

The latest addition to Ghostcat’s Leave No Trace trail is sure to be a beloved one for several generations reared in Ōtautahi – an iconic Wizards token – honouring the gaming arcade that was a second home to many local youth through the 80s and 90s! Take a stroll down Gloucester Street to find the subtle addition…

Nobody’s Listening…

The spelling mistake makes this even better.

Some HotD action…

Colder weather and darker nights means watching some TV is high on everyone’s agenda, right? We can’t help but include House of the Dragon in our list for June – the Game of Thrones prequel is building to some intense battles and people talking in rooms, and we love it – its a Monday treat!

So, that was our June – did we overlook anything? What would you add? Share you thoughts in the comments! We are also looking forward to some guest contributors for upcoming And That Was… entries (and other recurring series) – so if you know who we should speak to, let us know!

Spotlight 3.0 – Monti Masiu’s ‘api

We are excited to ;launch the third iteration of our Spotlight series – introduced a new roster of artists to illuminate the city after dark with their striking artworks!

The first work to come to life for Spotlight 3.0 is Monti Masiu’s ‘api – a circular image that reflects the artist’s exploration of his Tongan heritage, inspired by the traditional forms and iconography of ngātu (bark cloth) and tatatau (tattoo), and centred around the symbolic importance of the kava bowl, representative of community. The image builds outward through numerous layers of sepia-toned circles and imagery, the work is at once honoring of tradition and something new.

That newness is made apparent in the collaborative aspect, Nicholas Keyse from Immersive Reality bringing the static image to animated life, producing a kaleidoscopic effect that suggests new forms and possibilities as it slowly reveals Masiu’s image. The revolving image is mesmirising as it plays out, slowly filling an increasingly large section of wall before receding again and eventually disappearing before playing through again, the loop reflective of the stories passed through generations, linking us to ancestors and our future.

This is a work that needs to be seen in person, so head down to the Colombo Street exterior of Te Pae – Christchurch Convention Centre after dark and take it all in…

Stay tuned for the next Spotlight work in the coming weeks!

Spotlight 3.0 is made possible with funding from the Christchurch City Council’s Place partnership Fund, with additional support from Rau Paenga Ltd, Phoenix PDP and Ōtautahi NZ.

Reclaimed – A Pop-Up Show by Jacob Root (Distranged Design)

Jacob Root, a.k.a Distranged Design is proud to present Reclaimed – a pop-up exhibition of new works on old surfaces at a temporary space at 4 Cranford Street, opening 6pm Friday, July 12.

Reclaimed will present works painted on up-cycled materials, including pallets, window frames, and used timber, providing a fitting textural surface for his exploration of aerosol – the artist moving beyond traditional stencil approaches and into freehand spraying, thick brush stroke portraits and experimental stencil techniques. We asked Jacob a couple of questions about the show…

Stencilling can be interesting as a technique, you kind of need to find new approaches as you refine the process – what new influences have you developed for Reclaimed and how did they come about?

I think the main influence of trying new techniques was travel, but also the amount of murals I’ve done over the last couple of years where I didn’t have the opportunity or time to cut stencils, so I had to get better at freehand spraying. After it started clicking I just really enjoyed it more, as it’s more hands on painting rather than cutting stencils for hours on end. Also the fact my hand and arm cramps and aches for hours after cutting stencils, it didn’t seem like a long term plan as my only way of creating artworks.

Material surfaces are really important for stencilling and by extension aerosol, too, how much work has to go into making the ‘canvasses’ for Reclaimed?

So far a lot has gone into messing around and rebuilding items, which I’m really loving. Driving around scavenging items that I can beautify by rebuilding, sanding, then painting on them has been incredibly satisfying, and the edginess and grit of the canvases I’ve found compliments my style. I’ve got a lot more to do in the next couple of weeks leading up to the show though!

What is the location for Reclaimed and how did that opportunity come about?

The location is 4 Cranford Street, it’s a new build by Duogroup. Duogroup are the building owners of the wall that Rightbrain and I painted our Sir Ed Hillary mural on, so I decided to get in contact with them and they were kind enough to jump at the idea and let me use their space.

Reclaimed is made possible by the support of Duogroup and the Inkster Company.

Make sure to catch Reclaimed – opening 6pm, Friday, July 12 and open until Sunday, July 14.

Masked Artist Photography Show 2024

Masked Artist Photography Show 2024 is a group show featuring eight artists from Ōtautahi and wider Aotearoa, surveying a range of photographic approaches and techniques. Hosted by The Masked Artist Gallery and Studios at their Boxed Quarter base, the show runs from June 16th to July 1st, with regular opening hours between 12pm and 6:30pm every day. Spanning traditional film, instant photos, digital and avant-garde experimental forms, the Photography Show 2024 illuminates the scope of contemporary photography as a way to capture our environments and experiences, from evocative urban landscapes to portraiture and more exploratory works that revel in textural and layered design elements. It could be argued that photography’s ubiquity and accessibility, as well as the increased platforms for sharing work, have dulled us to photography’s power, but here, poetry, mystery, craft and story-telling are at the fore, a reminder of photography’s power and potential. Masked Artist Photography Show 2024 features work by @lucas.twocus, @lifeisshortforabadlife, @cultsandmystics, @jermaineggggardner, @rhis_painter and more…

TUNE! with Hambone

Hambone is up on the decks this week, with a tasty selection of tunes that inspire his tattoo flash inspired creations. We love the punky energy that buzzes in Hambone’s work; twisted, snarling, funny and loud, and while some of the songs here might fit a similar description, there are also eclectic choices that might surprise. From the Aotearoa heaviness of Beastwars and sludginess of Head Like A Hole, to the iconic electro energy of The Prodigy, hip hop cuts with Ice Cube and Yelawolf and even Haddaway’s iconic What Is Love?… Dive into the Bone Man’s diverse choices and draw some skulls, it’s only fitting….

Beastwars – Some Sell Their Souls

Frankie Knuckles – It’s Hard Sometimes

Haddaway – What Is Love – 7″ Mix

The Prodigy – Breathe

Head Like a Hole – Glory Glory Hallelujah

Ice Cube – Do Ya Thang

Yelawolf – Dope

KING MUD – Smoked All My Bud

James Leg – Dirty South

Stay TUNEd for more TUNE! playlists!

Showtime – Daken – Garage Sale with Lucky Dips @ Absolution, Monday 13 May, 2024

Like all good garage sale-rs (I’m not sure about you, but I think ‘garage sailors’ is an apt moniker, maybe we can start a trend), we rugged up and got there early for the opening of Daken’s Garage Sale with Lucky Dips at Absolution Tattoo and Piercing in the Arts Centre. A tribute to Kiwiana and nostalgia, with lots of playful mash-ups and pop culture references, Daken’s concept for a good old fashioned garage sale was imbued with his always present sense of humour and earnest drive to make things. Like any good garage sale, there were surprising treasures, with accompanying ephemera, from vintage cassette tapes to a Donkey Kong board game and a Bunnings T-Shirt, to a raft of familiar influences; Bumble, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Four Square and more. For a healthy dose of charming fun, check out Garage Sale with Lucky Dips at Absolution and pick up a few treasures!

If you have an exhibition opening coming, let us know – email us at

And That Was… May 2024

May, it was a month of many spinning plates. Here in Ōtautahi, there were the ongoing discussions of local politics as the city planned for our future with the Long Term Plan, but there was also Mother’s Day, Star Wars Day and, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, No Socks Day and Root Canal Appreciation Day (both May 8th). It is fair to say there was a lot going on. But it was also a time where we might expect outdoor art to slow down as the temperatures plummet, so what did we find and what did we love? Well, it turns out there was plenty to do and see, from exhibitions to new works, big and small, and even new ways of looking at Ōtautahi. Read on and find out what we loved in May 2024!

Daken – Garage Sale with Lucky Dips @ Absolution

Our pal Daken staged a fun solo show at Absolution, drawing on his love for childhood nostalgia, Kiwiana and bootleg goodness. Garage Sale with Luck Dips included custom toys, airbrushed vintage t-shirts and, of course, surprises wrapped in paper for punters to take a chance. Our personal favourites? Definitely the dismembered Star Wars and G.I. Joe “bootlegs”, the Thinking Ape painted on a vintage Donkey Kong board game and the customised Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt that immediately evoked the original, practical movie costumes, altogether now, T-U-R-T-L-E Power

Ghostcat’s Leave No Trace Trail Expands…

Ghostcat‘s public trail of reminders of Ōtautahi’s past continues to grow and for many children of the 80s and 90s, the latest addition is especially memorable. The small silver disc may not be easy to spot on Gloucester Street, especially against the similarly coloured lamp post, but a closer inspection reveals it to be one of the iconic tokens from beloved video game arcade Wizards, formerly located just metres away. With more to come, it is worth exploring this touching project and the forthcoming Ghosts on Every Corner exhibition and publication…

Dcypher @ Mexicanos

Dcypher continues to remind us all of his talent with a striking addition to Mexicano’s Restaurant on Victoria Street. The radiant winged Virgin, occupying an expansive desert scene, fits perfectly with the popular eatery’s aesthetic – more please (that’s more tacos, more margaritas and more art)!

The City After Dark

As the city gets dark earlier in the evening, it is interesting to explore the art that takes on a different appearance in a vacated setting bathed in different light – like this DTR production on Manchester Street. From works illuminated by lighting to projected artworks and light installations, Ōtautahi is a surprising setting even after the sun goes down…

Love Everyone…

We couldn’t help but include this little mantra scrawled on one of the giant cans on St Asaph Street – Love Yourself, Love Everyone, Love Vampires. Sounds like good advice…

What made your May? Let us know below…