About the Creative Hoardings Project

Design mock-ups from September 2017, the third month of the project.

Design mock-ups from September 2017, the third month of the project.


The origins of "An Origin Story"...

In June 2017, Ōtākaro Ltd commissioned Felicity Jane Powell, CEO (or “RE:Director”) of RE:Edit Publishing, to produce a set of creative hoardings to be installed around the construction site of the new Christchurch Convention and Events Centre. The site, located adjacent to Cathedral Square in the centre of the city, is surrounded by 400m of construction hoardings that will be in situ for at least 2 years, until construction is completed.

The original concept for the construction hoardings was an aesthetically interesting and engaging piece of work that communicated the context and projected benefits of the Convention Centre, particularly in light of its somewhat controversial beginnings. However - during the initial concept phase - we realised that in order to tell a more complete, inclusive, and genuine story, we needed to look at the ‘bigger picture’ of where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going.

Thus, “Ōtautahi: An Origin Story” was born. Modelled on the superhero origin stories classic to many graphic novels, “An Origin Story” tells the 'superhero' story of Christchurch - about our imperfect past, our cataclysmic awakening, our messy present, and the hope we have for our thriving future.

The story, told in a graphic novel-style format, was entirely created and hand-illustrated by Felicity Jane Powell and printed on PVC canvas using solvent-free inks by Adgraphix in Christchurch. The artwork stretches along 115m of hoardings, and at 2.2-2.4m in height, spans 272m2. Installed on 5th December 2017, the hoardings can be viewed alongside the south and eastern edges of the Convention Centre Construction site, adjacent to Cathedral Square in the centre of the Christchurch CBD.

As you experience the hoardings, either online or in person, we hope you will feel inspired to make the story your own - by adding your voice to it, by taking photos at the different ‘selfie spots’ and sharing them with their hashtags, and by starting conversations about the different ideas we’ve tried to introduce along the way.

Please contact us here if you want to share your story in person, offer feedback - both good and bad - or talk to us about expanding the story so we can reach others and help you share the superhero story of your places. We're excited to see how this story grows and changes as our city transforms around us, and beyond.