‘Yellow Balloon’ —Blue Oyster invitation to (TOWER) Submitters et al

Shane McGrath (yellow blimp) 15-4-13 IMG_3188alrTo Everyone who enjoyed the sight of artist Shane McGrath’s Gelber LuftBallon flying HIGH over Customhouse Quay on Monday 15 April


To ALL Submitters on the (LUC-2012-212) Betterways Advisory Ltd application to construct a 28-storey hotel and apartment building at 41 Wharf Street


You are warmly invited to the forthcoming exhibition hosted at Blue Oyster Art Project Space | Basement, 24b Moray Place, Dunedin

[public domain] Submitters may find their submissions pinned to the wall.


Gelber LuftBallon (Dunedin Research Project) is a series of new work created by Melbourne-based artist Shane McGrath.
McGrath’s practice has used rockets, planes and zeppelins as metaphors for escapism, exploration, memory and tragedy. For this series McGrath has been investigating the public debates around Dunedin’s proposed wharf hotel development. McGrath sees the issue as one that concerns the city as a whole, which has the potential to impact dramatically on the city’s future.

During the public submissions process there were calls for an on-site, tethered balloon to be used as an indication as to how tall the hotel would be. Using this suggestion as an entry point for his investigation, McGrath launched a balloon near the proposed site on Monday 15 April. In this context the balloon is not only a practical object for measuring height, but also references times of conflict (barrage balloons) which were designed to allay fears of attack and also to indicate that the city was under attack.

Gelber LuftBallon is not a didactic work or a protest, but simply a catalyst to encourage debate and add to the ongoing dialogue. The results and ephemera of the research project and balloon launch will form the core of the exhibition at the Blue Oyster which opens on Tuesday 23 April.

Watch the video at http://blueoyster.org.nz/upcoming/shane-mcgrath/


Shane McGrath has a BFA and an MFA from Massey University. In 2011 he was commissioned by City Gallery Wellington to create a permanent sculpture in Wellington’s Glover Park as a part of the The Obstinate Object exhibition. He is represented by Bartley and Company, Wellington.

Blue Oyster Art Project Space
The Blue Oyster Arts Trust (BOAT) was founded in Dunedin in 1999 as the governing body of the Blue Oyster Art Project Space that provides a high quality, dynamic program of experimental and innovative contemporary art practice. BOAT is a non-profit and non-commercial organisation that is made up of practicing artists, curators and other creative professionals. The art project space allows a diverse range of artists to work experimentally, free from commercial restraints and irrespective of the stage of their career. Blue Oyster aims to broaden the interest and understanding of contemporary arts by providing a forum for discussion and debate regarding contemporary art issues.

The Blue Oyster is supported by Creative New Zealand | Toi Aotearoa and Dunedin City Council | Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Innovation, Inspiration, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

10 responses to “‘Yellow Balloon’ —Blue Oyster invitation to (TOWER) Submitters et al

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    What time is the opening?

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    D’oh. Found it cunningly hidden in plain view. 5.30pm.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    The email from Steve Rodgers is a gem! Elfinsafety, trespass, you name it, he’s tossed them all in while tossing his toys out. Qu’elle wankeur!

    • Can’t scare the horses, Hype. Them equines means money.

      [I mean the Mayor, Councillors and COC-suits to Shanghai been selling the Trojan tower to prospectives! Desperate times if the Hearings Committee doesn’t deliver. Or will we see staged consents when the building is already under construction? – that’s the model counsel Phil Page was promoting on behalf of the Applicant, cowboy Roy Rogers.]

      • ### ch9.co.nz April 24, 2013 – 7:02pm
        Your word on the Shanghai delegation
        A delegation of 13 local representatives headed by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull recently visited China. The visit aimed to boost tourism, education and business links with Dunedin’s sister city, Shanghai. The 9 Local News Word on the Street team hit the Octagon to ask if you think the city will benefit from the trip.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, “staged consents when the building is already under construction” is what happened with the Clyde Dam. The judgement was that since work had begun it would be allowed to continue. Makes a farce of law, appeal process, etc but does not apply to unimportant individuals e.g. people whose new garage (I think it was) extended onto council land that they had innocently been treating as their own by gardening, keeping it attractive, for many years. I may have conflated 2 cases but am sure you’ll remember.

    {Link http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/241407/boundary-problem-provides-cautionary-tale -Eds}

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