Trent Hiles











Crux*Te Punga began as the 48 Hereford Street project where, from mid-2014 to mid-2015, images and sound recordings were captured of the strip out and demolition of the 'quake-damaged Central Police building at 48 Hereford Street, Ōtautahi Christchurch.


March 2017 marked the beginning of the development of a creative response to the building, its inhabitants, and the land upon which the building stood.


Crux*Te Punga is a multidisciplinary arts project created in collaboration with some of Aotearoa's finest artists: 


Wayne Youle, visual artist of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaeke, and Ngāti Pākehā descent, is working with sets of prison linen to create sculptural responses to incarceration – wall-hangings, floor items and ‘creature comforts’ constructed using ‘retired’ prison sheets and blankets. Wayne's work will be exhibited at CoCA (Centre of Contemporary Art) from the end of September 2018.


Rose James, Dunedin-based sonic artist, is creating a sound installation using suspended stainless steel sheets with small speakers attached, through which she will play sound recordings she made while visiting the building as it was being demolished. Rose used contact microphones, capturing sounds of the building itself as it was taken apart. Rose's work will be exhibited at CoCA (Centre of Contemporary Art) from the beginning of July 2018.


Vanessa York, a perfumer based in Auckland, is creating two scents that will be experienced during the exhibition and they will be available for the discerning collector. One scent will represent hope – possibility, promise, the “new improved” Ōtautahi. The other will represent regret – disappointment, broken promises, dead ends… The yin/yang of the smell experience in the removal and rebuilding of the city which, for those who have noticed, has produced a wide range of olfactory ‘notes’.


Ariana Tikao (Ngāi Tahu) and Piri Cowie (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi) are creating a multimedia installation of their impressions of the species, kōrero, and whakapapa of the whenua in and around Ōtautahi and Puari Pā. Drawing upon the mahi of Matapopore, and scholars and elders of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, in a dismantling of time, this work will be a rediscovery of the delightful nature of the tuna and stories associated with the natural environment which still exists beneath the outer skin of our paved city streets. 


Trent Hiles is working on the creation of a multi-sensory ‘micro-gallery’ that will offer the individual an intimate experience of the demolition of the Police building through still and moving images, sound recordings, movement, and smell. The vision is to locate the small structure on the site and it will feature elements of a whare – a pou topped by a koruru, and maihi. Trent is working with master carver Caine Tauwhare (Ngāi Tahu) to develop and create the elements from te ao Māori. Te Whare Puari is set for installation in the city early 2020.


The work so far has been made possible thanks to generous support from Ngāi Tahu Property, Creative New Zealand, CeresNZ, the Ngāi Tahu Fund and Placemakers Riccarton, with equipment provided by Daveron Scaffolding.  


Press article

Radio NZ Spectrum documentary