Urban Ashburton exhibition

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A new exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery looks at the Ashburton’s built environment through art and object.

With exhibits taken from the collections of the gallery, Ashburton Museum and Ashburton District Council, the exhibition looks back to how the town has developed.

Called Urban Ashburton, landmarks and scenes are depicted in paintings, photography and objects.

From its beginnings in 1858 as a humble ferry crossing with only an accommodation house and stables, Ashburton’s urban fabric has expanded outward across the plains from the Ashburton River.

Grand old buildings like the borough council chambers, post office with its clock tower and the St James Theatre have long since disappeared, while other heritage landmarks like the Baring Square West war memorial, catholic church and the Ashburton Domain still remain.

Some works in the exhibition depict buildings that have been replaced by their more modern counterparts, such as the post office and the council chambers, while others capture urban scenes at a particular point in time.

Historical aerial photographs by White’s Aviation show Ashburton as it appeared from above in the middle of last century.

Urban Ashburton will offer a history lesson to some and will revive memories for others.

The exhibition will also allow access to rarely seen artworks, curated together from the three collections.

It runs until April 3.