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‘A Great Pipe Dream’ makes good in New York City

14 January 2003

From the Christchurch Botanic Gardens playground to the bright lights of New York City – it’s a great pipe dream for some young Canterbury artists.

Eight sculptures from last year’s TV2 KidsFest ‘ The Great Pipe Dream’ exhibition in the Botanic Gardens are now on display at the Cork Gallery, New York as part of an international display of children’s recycled creations.

The decision to send the plastic piping artworks to New York came after ‘The Great Pipe Dream’ organiser, Henry Sunderland discovered ‘Pipe Dreams’, a similar project at the Paul Robeson School, New Jersey via the internet.

Following Henry’s contact with the organisers, the Visual Arts League of East Brunswick, New Jersey invited the KidsFest exhibits to the exhibition in New York’s prestigious Lincoln Centre. Artists and children from Russia, Hungary, Japan, France and various parts of the United States have also contributed to the event.

Christchurch’s botanically inspired creations were made by children from Allenvale School, Shirley Intermediate, Marian College, Linwood Intermediate, Christchurch South Intermediate, Casebrook Intermediate and a St Bede’s College student, Tom Baker.

When the exhibition closes on January 20, the Christchurch pieces will tour other galleries and schools on the United States eastern seaboard. They will eventually be donated to schools in the area.

Henry Sunderland, a trustee of the KidsFest Charitable Trust says Christchurch’s involvement in the New York exhibition illustrates the high quality of the TV2 KidsFest events, held every winter school holidays in Christchurch.

“ ‘The Great Pipe Dream’ was also a fun, safe and educational project for Christchurch children and something they could all be involved in making or visiting.”

Children from 22 Canterbury schools were originally invited to create artworks for ‘The Great Pipe Dream’, using recycled pipes supplied by local company Connetics. Thirty artworks were produced.

Jim Anderton, who opened the Christchurch exhibition said taking eight of the sculptures overseas “would provide excellent opportunities for New Zealand children and their families to develop ties with United States children, their families and their schools”. He says he sees it is a valuable link in maintaining harmonious international relationships between communities.

This year, TV2 KidsFest organisers will be inviting school children to use recycled materials to make smaller scale flowers and plants to be displayed in a specially made garden in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens playground.

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