In the battle between good and evil, boredom and blandness, art plays an important role. First Thursdays is aided in fighting the good fight and bringing it to Sydenham by local artist and paste-up-crusader, Mark Catley.
Catley started his street art practice after the Christchurch earthquakes as way to suprise viewers and provide some joy in the damaged inner city. Life sized paste-ups of vintage toys - often from iconic movies and television series began popping up in the central city. Bare boards over broken windows and tagged up hoardings began hosting familiar characters - Chewbaca, C3PO, Batman, Robin and more. The human-sized scale and well known quality of the images draws people in - cue hundreds of selfies and interactions with the 2D images. The works evokes happy memories for adults and delight and wonder in children.
Many of the pieces were created with his childhood toys, adding an autobiographical element to the works. These paste ups tell a story about an individual and a city re-telling and re-framing it's stories in a playful, inclusive way. It speaks of the fantastical as a part of the everyday and the possibility of the mundane becoming something spectacular at any moment.
For First Thursdays, Catley plans to introduce some new figurines to the city! Playing on notions of the fantastical and heroic, but also camp and absurd - enter He Man and the Masters of the Universe! Keep an eye out for the obscenely, muscular figures with crazy proportioned bodies along Colombo St, where they'll be playing out the age old battle between good and evil.