Christchurch mall hosting pop-up art galleries

Christchurch shopping centre 'The Colombo' in Sydenham is set to double as a pop-up art gallery during winter.

An 'Art Takeover' started this week, featuring 150 works by veteran Christchurch artist Philip Trusttum.

Director of DMC Art Deborah McCormick, is producing the exhibition.  She said The Colombo's owner Lilly Cooper admired Trusttum's work, and wanted to create a space for his paintings before the mall gets a refresh.

"Lilly Cooper said to me, 'I live next door to Philip Trusttum. I walk past every night with my dogs and I look in and I'm intrigued by what he does. I see him painting beautiful, big, bright paintings and what's happening to his work?'."

The 84-year-old artist appreciates the opportunity but admits showcasing art is very different now to when he first began painting six decades ago.

"It's a lot harder now than it was when I started. Much harder. But now you have advantages now of social media."

Philip Trusttum 'The Haka' 2009 with Philip. Image Courtesy of DMC Art. Supplied.
Philip Trusttum 'The Haka' 2009 with Philip. Image Courtesy of DMC Art. Supplied.
Trusttum's work is inspired by glimpses of everyday life. His pieces have been shown in major cities all over the world and he's won many awards.

McCormick believes Trusttum is Christchurch art royalty and people love his work.

"I have experienced first hand the response that people have to his work. People have been peering at the windows, stopping, asking questions, very, very intrigued."

She believes it's important for more local artists to have opportunities like this to display their work.

The mall has set aside five gallery spaces, each with a different theme, along with a major art takeover in the atrium and food court.

All the paintings are available to buy but Trusttum's only wish is that people enjoy his interpretations of life during the June exhibition.

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 - By Emily O'Hagan, made with the support of NZ On Air