work / CHAOS AND ORDER (re-imagined) 2014 -19


media release, October 17, 2019



Infinity and solidarity expressed by re-imagined SCAPE public artwork

A beautiful star pattern that suggests infinity and expresses love, empathy and solidarity is central to an artwork unveiled in Christchurch as part of SCAPE Season 2019.

Under Construction – Chaos and Order (Re-imagined) 2014–19 is a re-working by Peter Atkins of his artwork originally installed in 2014 following the traumatic Canterbury earthquakes. He has re-imagined half of the double-sided installation in response to the shocking attack on two Christchurch mosques on 15 March 2019.

“The loss, confusion and feelings of anger and uncertainty people experienced after the earthquakes were clearly evident again as I watched the recent horrific events unfold on the news. Like many people, I felt overwhelmed by what I was seeing and felt that I needed to respond,” he says.

Located near The Press building on Gloucester Street, the artwork features a different pattern on each side. One side is arranged randomly, engaging with the Chaos – obstacles, shards and blockages, alluding to feelings of uncertainty, confusion and frustration.

The opposite side, which has been re-imagined for Season 2019, presents the idea of Order, in which the panels are arranged systematically, as though the broken fragments of Chaos have been picked up and repositioned back in place. The artist has used an eight-star motif that references the traditional, geometric patterns of Islamic Art dating back to the ninth century – often seen in textiles, pierced screens, tilework and stained glass. The repeated star pattern forms a variety of symmetries that seem to extend indefinitely and thus suggests infinity.

“This new, re-imagined work is a way for me to say that the atrocious act committed against the Muslim community in Christchurch does not represent me nor my beautiful country, Australia. Under Construction – Chaos and Order (Re-imagined) is a simple gesture to express love, empathy and solidarity: to remind the community that we stand together as one.”


SCAPE Board Chair Michael Fulton says the original idea to transform the work had come from Atkins soon after the horrific events in March.“The motivation was to respond in some way and show his support and sorrow for what had happened. We were immediately touched by the gesture and thought it needed to be transformed from a digital image to an actual re-imagination” he said. "On that basis we consulted the Muslim community to see if this would be well received, which it was. From there we were determined to make it happen. That the artwork can be viewed from level one of TÅ«ranga Central Library – SCAPE’s Learning and Wellbeing Zone also seemed to be a great bonus.”






   Chaos and Order (re-imagined) 2014 - 19