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124 Peterborough gets a new shirt

The three story high mural now gracing the back of 124 Peterborough Street in Christchurch's CBD is thanks to the Oi You! Rise Festival, the vision of A&R Property Group (ARPG) and sponsorship from Taurus Group. 

Called "Home is where the heart is", and featuring on YouTube, the 100 sqm meter mural shows two female faces, one looking forlorn and grieving, with the other optimistic and looking to the future.

The emotive street art was one of 15 building canvases painted during the Oi You! Rise Festival that attracted 250,000 to the Canterbury Museum and CBD between December 2013 and March 2014.

The idea for a large artwork was the brain child of Richmond Paynter of ARPG whose father built 124 Peterborough in the 1970s. He says after the earthquakes destroyed around half the buildings constructed by his forebears he found out 124 had just survived, so he bought it, updated it to 100% and it's now home to an architect an urban planning consultancy and recruitment firm.

"Like so many I was keen to retain some of our past and although the building is just 40 years old I desperately wanted to keep it for the future, to become a heritage building in amongst the many contemporary mixed use developments that will appear in the City".

"As a sole building amongst vacant lots, its back wall was a perfect blank canvas and became a feature of the Oi You! Festival" he says.

ARPG teamed up with fellow Christchurch company, Taurus Group, to bring the artistic flavour to Peterborough Street. 

Wayne Bailey of Taurus says there's a responsibility for everyone to help bring life back to the City Centre quickly and he feels art, creativity and music is a great way of doing it. "We have a lot of blank walls in Christchurch that are going to remain for some time to come.  Using these for street art is one way to bring life back to the City.  The art becomes a talking point and it brings people back," he says. "Street art has been successful at regenerating other devastated cities like Berlin.  In Christchurch it's helping to build a new culture, as well as business, which is good news for future development and a new life for the City," he says.

The Oi You! Festival was made possible by the generosity of George Shaw, owner of the largest private collection of Banksy street art in the world, whose vision is to see Christchurch as the art capital of the world.  George Shaw's fascination with Banksy started a few years back when his wife gave him a new shirt, with its back emblazoned with Banksy artwork.