Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

Art as Sport in Christchurch

'Powerslide' an artwork by David Cross for the SCAPE 7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial
David Cross, 'Drift', Sydney, (2011)
'Powerslide' is a large inflatable sports field which will be located in central Christchurch
Christchurch residents are being invited to team-up with friends and family to compete in the world premiere of a new sport - Powerslide.


Christchurch residents are being invited to team-up with friends and family to compete in the world premiere of a new sport - Powerslide.

Powerslide, an exciting and hugely participatory sporting activity, has been developed by artist David Cross as his installation for the SCAPE 7 Public Art Christchurch Biennial from 27 September – 9 November 2013. Cross’ work often involves inflatable objects and structures that draw audiences into unexpected situations and experiences.

In the Powerslide competition, two teams of six players will compete on a giant inflatable sports field, which will be located on the North Western corner of the intersection of Colombo and Gloucester streets.

During the six weeks of round-robin games, players in the attacking team will take turns to run across the surface of the inflated field and dive through a slot, rugby-style, to score a point. The defending team, meanwhile, will be underneath the playing surface working to manipulate the field to make it difficult for the opposition to dive. Importantly, the two teams cannot see each other and are forced to rely on instinct and cunning in a game of amazing physical and mental anticipation.

“We are delighted that David has created such a participatory work,” says Deborah McCormick, Director of SCAPE Public Art. “He has designed an extraordinary work of public art that defies compartmentalisation as ‘sport’ or ‘art’. The hope is that the work will challenge not only people’s physicality, but their concept of art.”

Cross refers to the Powerslide game, rules, and activation of the artwork under the artwork title Level Playing Field. He says, “My interest is in creating a public artwork that is appealing to a broad range of people. I’m hoping to draw audiences into a new, pleasurable experience, but also to encourage them to think about how incongruous this recreational event is in its unexpected location.”

Teams interested in registering for the Powerslide competition must be able to field six players who are over 10 years old per week for the totality of a six-week round-robin competition. A training programme will be scheduled for competitors prior to the commencement of the matches.

David Cross’ artistic practice includes performance, installation, video and photography. He seeks to explore contemporary experiences and understandings of participation in art.

Cross was born in Melbourne and works at Massey University, Wellington as Associate Professor in Fine Arts. Cross has exhibited extensively both within New Zealand and internationally, and was selected as a New Zealand representative at the Prague Quadrennial in 2011.

For further information and registration details:

PLATINUM: Creative New Zealand
SILVER: Arrow, Cosgroves, Massey University, The Press
BRONZE: Peter Hawtin Architecture, Canvasland
PATRONS CIRCLE MEMBERS: Adrienne, Lady Stewart, Sir James Wallace, Dame Jenny Gibbs

Deborah McCormick, Director
SCAPE Public Art
PO Box 763, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand,
Tel: +64 (0)3 365 7990, Mobile: +64 (0)27 280 9557,

Contact details: 
For registration information contact

Written by

SCAPE Public Art

17 Aug 2013

Interests SCAPE Public Art install large scale, free-to-view contemporary public art in Christchurch city.