Cranmer Courts was once a building full of community, fun, and family but today it is just an empty shell.
Earmarked for demolition, Cranmer Courts might just of stood as yet another sad reminder of the changing face of Christchurch.
But local artist Mike Hewson had other ideas. Instead of letting the building wait out its remaining days in a state of disrepair and abandonment, he has covered almost 130 meters of the building in mixed media images.
Hewson’s Homage to Lost Spaces mural project – ten super-sized photo installations – has two aims.
One is to pay respect to one of Christchurch’s landmark revival Gothic buildings.
The other is to pay tribute to a group of fellow artists who were working in a building overlooking Cathedral Square when the earthquake hit on February 22, 2011.
As a result, Hewson has created a massive work of art that has returned Cranmer Courts once again into a place full of life and vibrancy. The large images, placed in the doorways and windows, play tricks on the eye, making you almost believe that someone is still living and working inside the building.
Of course they’re not, but the idea that they could be is like a breath of fresh air for Cantabrians weary of looking at demolition sites, road cones, fences, and safety warnings as they wander around their city.