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Painting the town penguin: The Pop Up Penguins waddle into Christchurch

02 Dec 2020

Evening wanderers, dog walkers and city explorers can expect to see the unexpected in Christchurch this summer. Following the success of their 2014 Christchurch Stands Tall event, Wild in Art and Harcourts is proud to present Pop Up Penguins, a public art trail starring 120 birds, many cleverly decorated in Resene paints.

A mixture of small and large penguins will started popping up throughout Christchurch, Akaroa and Kaiapoi from the end of November. Penguin detectives can either pick up a trail map from a range of destinations within the city, including local Harcourts offices, or for the more digitally inclined, the Pop Up Penguin app uses unique codes to track trail progress and unlock special rewards.

Penguins pose at the Bridge of Remembrance.

While lockdown caused a slight delay, it provided extra time for a range of local and national artists to unleash their creativity. The larger 160cm penguins were the perfect canvas for the exciting selection of artists, with their Resene paint at the ready.


Harcourts will auction the penguins to raise money for a local charity.

The Pop Up Penguins will call Christchurch home for nine weeks, before flocking together at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand for a Farewell Weekend on 13-14 February 2021. On Tuesday 16th February 2021, the raft of large penguins will make their final appearance at a Harcourts auction. They'll continue to provide community cheer even in retirement, with 75% of proceeds donated to Cholmondeley Children's Centre, which offers short term respite care for whānau with children aged 3 to 12 years.

Find out more at www.popuppenguins.co.nz.