The Christchurch Art Gallery had been closed for nearly five years (earthquake repairs) until it reopened on 18 December.
The gallery’s holdings were in storage during that time. Christchurch was, technically, the owner of a great deal of art but was at the same time art-less.
This is like having the family silver locked up even at holidays and using EPNS at Christmas.
It’s not telling your funniest story when you’re poorly because you’ll laugh too hard in the recital and cough in desperate agony.
It is having a secret cactus of great beauty at a bonsai tree pageant.
It is having all the papers run variants of the headline [YOUR NAME] IS A WANKER the day after you signed a contract saying that you agree not to publicly refute anyone who calls you a wanker.
It’s actually having a Canadian girlfriend or boyfriend you met over the summer but still having no-one believe you.
It is being honoured with a namesake crater on the dark side of the moon.
It is living a childhood picking rags in the Dickensian slums until your mysterious benefactor decides to make himself known to you when you reach the age of majority.
It is being a gem of purest ray serene in the dark unfathom’d caves of ocean or a flower blushing unseen and wasting its sweetness on the desert air—in the age of social media.
It is having a large hadron collider humming unknown beneath your nondescript farmland.
It is being a cherry ripening, ripening, ripening on the branch knowing that a greedy daw is as likely to pick you when you redden as human fingers are.
It is being a town the size of a city. What is a city without art? An industrial park with beds. A mall with sports teams.
It is good to be part of the culture again, however much we may sometimes dislike it.