Demolition waste becomes artwork treasure for CPIT Trades project

Demolition waste becomes artwork treasure for CPIT Trades project

Creativity and craftsmanship has breathed new life into demolition waste in a CPIT Trades artwork on display at a major Canterbury Museum exhibition.

Inspired by the He Toki ki te Rika trades programme logo, the Maori design-inspired wooden panel is part of the Whole House Reuse Exhibition that features a collection of objects made from a demolished Christchurch house, which opened last Friday, June 5, and runs until August 23.


Trades staff and a number of students collaborated on the art project, which took approximately 80 hours to complete, CPIT Trades Carpentry tutor Ron Bedyn who headed the project, said.

It was constructed mainly using lath, the narrow wooden slats used in the building process commonly seen in the interior walls and ceilings of homes built pre-1950s, which were painstakingly mounted onto hinged old-fashioned doors.

"As the pattern took shape and at the completion there was a real sense of satisfaction and feeling of creating something quite beautiful and significant. All those involved with this project I'm sure have enjoyed doing something out of the ordinary as well as something others will take pleasure in," Bedyn said.

The Whole House Reuse project is the brainchild of Rekindle, a social enterprise that sought to bring about creativity and positive change in the way resources are valued, celebrating the power of design and craft as tools to address, and benefit from, wasted resources, project co-director Kate McIntyre said.

It involved reusing every single piece of a demolished 1920s New Brighton weatherboard home at 19 Admirals Way, near Christchurch. Along with the He Toki panel, the result is an exhibition of 400 objects ranging from a delicately carved taonga puoro flute by master carver Brian Flintoff, to a finely crafted backyard studio by artist Nic Moon and architectural designer Lyn Russell.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu performed a special blessing of the panel before the exhibition opened last Friday, Māori Trades Training, Te Tapuae o Rehua programme manager Hēmi Te Hēmi said.

"We wanted to implement a karakia or 'blessing' of the artwork to see it on its journey to the museum and its final destination at the Waltham pool, after the exhibition ends on August 23."

The panel would function not only as an artwork, but to absorb some of the sound in the foyer space where it would be installed at the pool later this year, CPIT Trades building and carpentry manager Alistair Smith said.

Exhibtion details:

What: Whole House Reuse Exhibition

Where: Special Exhibitions Hall, Canterbury Museum

When: June 5 – August 23

About 200 art pieces and objects from this exhibition will be auctioned for charity on August 24 2015 at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Visit:  for more information and tickets.

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