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Rātā Foundation assists SCAPE public art project, bringing history of Chinese market gardening to life

Two city market sites created exclusively by renowned artist Jacquelyn Greenbank  provided valuable learning on the diverse history of Chinese market gardening and agriculture to students from schools across Christchurch over the SCAPE Public Art Season. 

The Starfruit and Starfruit Fruiterer exhibitions spanned across two street sites - one real, at 130 Armagh Street where there used to be a Chinese fruiterer, and one recreated within The Christchurch Street at the Canterbury Museum.

Jacquelyn paired with the SCAPE Public Art Trust to undertake this unique community engagement programme which focused on encouraging children to participate with the artwork sites.

Executive Director for SCAPE Public Art Deborah McCormick says that Jacquelyn wanted to bring her Chinese heritage forward through these market sites and make their fascinating history more visible in the city through her artwork.”

Deborah says the programme was able to go ahead with funding support from Rātā Foundation and it is the fourth time they’ve received support to go ahead with these types of unique and educational events and programmes.

The Starfruit Fruiterer included handmade paper fruit created by students from St Marks School, Cathedral Grammar School, Banks Avenue School and a diverse range of young people from Canterbury Home Educators groups. The students came together to make the fruit at workshops held in the SCAPE Art, Learning and Wellbeing education space at Tūranga.

“During these workshops Jacquelyn asked students to think about the way food is integral in the formation of identity and how the rituals of shopping, preparing, and dining with family and friends can create important community bonds,” says Deborah. 

The grocer’s presence inside the museum highlights the history of Chinese market gardening and agriculture in Ōtautahi and Aotearoa.

Rātā Foundation Chief Executive Leighton Evans, says it is important to have children participate in these distinctive art-based programmes, and encourage their learning and creativity while making unique art the community can engage with.

What's next for SCAPE in 2021? They are taking over the central city with a series of exciting sculptures this spring!

Running from 9 October – 20 November, eight locally and internationally recognised artists will be debuting artworks around central Ōtautahi | Christchurch, showcasing their interpretations of the theme Shadows Cast.

Managing Curator Jamie Hanton’s selections for the 2021 festival fall into his overall vision of Fictions, which unfurls across the 2020 – 2022 SCAPE Public Art Seasons.

Fictions aims to introduce elements of mystery and moments of revelation to the Ōtautahi cityscape,” explains Hanton. “Shadows Cast takes the shadow as its point of focus, exploring the possibilities of shifting identities and new roles for our city. The shadow is a space of potential, and that’s what our artists will be exploring this season.”

Installations from international artists will return following COVID-19 disruptions, with a celebrated piece coming to Ōtautahi from Chinese artist Nabuqi, as well as new work from renowned Korean artist Bona Park.  

"Shadows Cast explores the lasting impact of certain fading histories and the possibilities for different histories to overlap and overwrite," explains Hanton. “The artists we’ve gathered have brought us such an incredible, exciting range of work that explores these themes.”

With a series of artist talks, walking tours and interactive pieces, SCAPE’s Season 2021 will be a highlight for Ōtautahi this spring.  

Keep your eyes peeled for more information about each work, with pieces to be exhibited publicly in key locations such as the Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park, and the Canterbury Museum.  

The Season will also include crowd favourite project Re:ACTIVATE Aspiring Artists, where design proposals from Waitaha | Canterbury primary and high school students will be brought to life in Hagley Park.  For more on SCAPE visit

SCAPE was funded under our Participate Funding Area – to see our priorities for funding please visit