What is Watch This Space?
Watch This Space Trust is a newly formed charitable trust committed to creating and maintaining an up-to-date, accurate and free street art map. You can verify our charitable status on the registry at Charities New Zealand.
How does the website work?
You can look for street art through our interactive map. This is especially useful as a guide while walking around town. Click on an icon, and the image of that work will appear along with details about it and links back to the artist’s website and social media.
Or, browse street art through the image gallery. See artworks and images of them as they come up, get remade, or get torn down.
You can also find out what’s new in the Christchurch street art scene by checking out our blog. Here we put updates about works that are coming up, exhibitions showcasing local artists, interesting articles, interviews, and other good stuff.
Why are you doing this?
Our Pecha Kucha talk gives a good rundown about us and how and why we got started. Selected from over 9,000 Pecha Kucha talks from across the world, it was featured on Pecha Kucha’s global website on February 7, 2017 as Pecha Kucha Talk of the Day.
Who takes your photos?
We do. We are not professional photographers. Most of the photos were taken on our phones in fact. If you have a nice camera and quality photos that you would be wiling to share with us, please send them via our Get Involved form.
Our goal is for this to become a self-sustainable, community driven project that crowdsources street art information and images from locals and visitors to Christchurch. We’re always on the lookout for works being torn down and new street art coming up , but we can’t be everywhere at once, so please help us out.
Are you artists?
No. We are everyday people who work and live in Christchurch and enjoy street art. All of us have full-time jobs and do this because we are passionate about Christchurch, street art, and contributing to making this transitional city an amazing place to live in.
How do you decide which photos are displayed on the website?
Our project first started out with one person biking around the city looking for street art. She focused on big wall murals in the CBD because that was achievable for one person on a bike. The photos were taken on her S5, and still are… We are gradually adding in Sydenham and New Brighton, and we need your help. We want to move beyond the usual spots and include more forms of artwork. The more people like you who contribute to the map, the more artwork we can include!
We do have some restrictions on the images we include out of respect for the artists who have made them, but in general we're looking for a shot that the artist would be proud of seeing.
Can I use your photos?
How can I get involved?
There’s many ways! We're glad you asked. You can help create opportunities for the artists by commissioning a mural, or if you have wall space available for artists to use and practice on, you could share the location with us. You can help us keep the map up-to-date by keeping an eye out for new street art and letting us know when works are getting torn down, blocked by new buildings, or painted over. The city landscape is constantly changing. The more eyes out on the street the easier it is to keep the map up to date!
This is a free resource and we have put countless hours into this project taking photographs, contacting artists, researching the artworks, pitching our idea to anyone who will listen (or can’t run away fast enough). We have many costs to cover such as the domain, server, and developer fees to list a few. Donations are always welcome. Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated and well spent.
How do I make a donation?
Great question! Glad you asked. Just click here.
Did you know Christchurch was recently featured in Lonely Planet’s first ever street art guidebook, and they use Watch This Space as their Christchurch resource?
Yup, they found our website when we were in our early testing stages. See page 131 in Lonely Planet’s Street Art. Uturn.co.nz was our prototype. If you go to it today, it’ll redirect you to watchthisspace.org.nz.
How long did it take you to put this resource together?
We’ve been mapping out street art since 2015. As a self initiated project, it’s taken countless hours, but something we strongly believe the city needs. It’s thanks to the help of friends, artists, and local supporters in the community that we’ve made it this far.
What is your relationship with the artists?
For every artist we are able to identify, we contact them to see if it’s okay to include their work on our website. We’ll show them the image we’ve taken, verify if we have the right website URL and social media links for them. For works we can’t easily identify, we research on the internet, ask local artists, and talk to business owners nearby. Some artists do not want to be put on the map, and we respect that.
This is a crowdsourced project. We do this in our spare time, outside of our full-time jobs, so not everything on our website is going to be perfect! We hope you can appreciate the time and effort put into this project.
What is street art?
Is it murals, graffiti, sculpture, art in the street? There’s no simple answer to that question. You’ll get varied responses depending on who you talk to- graffiti artists, muralists, buskers, etc.
If you’re serious about taking a deeper look into that question, read Reuben Wood’s dissertation, Painting ruins: graffiti and street art in post- earthquake Christchurch.