25 March 2010
Four upright pianos will be placed in public spaces for the next six weeks for the any passer-by to enjoy playing or listening to.
Jerram’s work set out to question the ownership and rules of public space, and is described as a provocation, inviting the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.
The artist has given the nod to a smaller scale reproduction of the project here in Rotorua; a first for New Zealand. Up to 30 pianos have been deposited in public spaces around the world as part of arts festivals.
Pianos In The Wild! is a collaboration between Pheasant Plucker owner and music aficionado Ivan Purvis and the Rotorua District Council.
“The project has been a while in planning, Ivan has sourced local sponsorship from Speedy Signs and Bunnings, U Drive Truck Rentals on Lake Road, Piano Expert & Tuner Brian Holden … and we have some great locations around the CBD” says Kiri Jarden RDC arts officer.
Pianos have been donated by The Piano Shop in Wellington. The effort to get the instruments here has not been without drama.
“Originally The Piano Shop were dropping them off in December. But a new baby arrived for the owner unexpectedly early. Then there were truck breakdowns in January, leading us to make the journey in February from here” says Mr. Purvis. “We got to the store just as our truck gave up the ghost. A bigger truck arrived to take ours away for repairs! But obviously we got back in the end, with five uprights of varying vintages”
The pianos are set to go out Friday 26 March and will be located at Jean Batten Square, the City Focus, Eat Street, and the corner of Tutanekai and Arawa Streets. In fitting with Rotorua, Mr. Purvis has chosen the name “Stay & Play, I’m Free” for our installation.
Contact Kiri Jarden or Ivan Purvis.