Into the Light – The Street Art Lighting Project

It seems like an age ago that we were introduced to Brendan Stafford and Greg Dirkzwager from local sustainable tech company Gen Green. The guys from Gen Green had the idea of lighting up some of Christchurch’s beloved street art murals using sustainable solar lighting, not only exposing the art in a (literal) new light, but also activating spaces in the city that often feel dead after dark. When they asked Watch This Space to help them realise the project, we were excited to join forces…

While such a plan seems straightforward enough, the reality is more challenging (even more so when you throw in a global pandemic). The first step was to select the works, looking at those pieces that would be practical and impactful, a difficult task in a city with so much urban art to choose from! We narrowed down the list to ten murals, although as time passed that list changed. The works formed a sort of trail to wander, spanning a section of the central city.

The next phase was to consider how to light the works, both from a design standpoint and more practically in terms of installation. Our imperative was always to ensure the works were not altered, the lighting instead simply highlighting or echoing the existing visual effects of the works. While the lights and charging panels are relatively small, finding solutions to avoid detracting from the works and to ensure safe and secure application was an important task. This was were Guy Archibald and George Clifford and the team at Living Space Group, a local contracting company, joined the project, contributing their skills to ensure all the requirements around installation were met.

With the lights installed, eleven works of street art are now illuminated, creating an urban loop to explore the city, and just in time for the summer sun to play its part! And even if we do say so ourselves, they are looking pretty amazing!

Berst’s Sea Monsters lit up, September 2020
Erika Pearce’s stunning Allen Street mural illuminated, September 2020
Rone’s iconic work from Rise (2013) with the solar lights installed, September 2020
Jacob Yikes’ Alice mural on Alice in Videoland, with a burst of night time light, September 2020
Kevin Ledo’s Whero O Te Rangi Bailey is now alight at the foot of the Crowne Plaza, September 2020

To find out more about all of the works included in the Street Art Lighting Project, check out our online map:

Askew’s Kristen on Gloucester Street:

Rone in Cathedral Square:

Berst’s Sea Monsters on the Isaac Theatre Royal:

Kevin Ledo’s Whero O Te Rangi Bailey on the Crowne Plaza:

Jacob Yikes in Cathedral Square:

Cracked Ink on Hereford Street:

Numskull on Colombo Street:

Jacob Yikes’ Alice in Videoland mural:

Dcypher’s Kodak mural in Collett’s Lane:

Erika Pearce on Allen Street:

Elliot Francis Stewart on Tuam Street:

Thanks to Gen Green, Living Space Group and the Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Spaces Fund for bringing this project to life!


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