Today River of Flowers, Poetica, Flourish and The Canterbury Museum, under the vision of Michelle Whitaker, opened the Bloom Interactive Exhibition to mark the anniversary but to also celebrate all the writing that has come from the experiences of the Earthquakes. The poems by Canterbury children displayed are remarkably beautiful, the importance of the author's mothers are a central theme is very moving.
The beautiful water colours by award winning illustrator Jenny Cooper from Maia and the Worry Bug and Wishes and Worries are displayed as part of Bloom. Julie Burgess-Manning and I are so honoured to be part of this event and we will be attending a reading session on February 21st. We'd love to have you in the audience.
I hope you can make some time to come into the museum during February and add you poems, flowers and hopes for the future to the interactive exhibition. There is a lot more than is shown in the pictures above but we wanted to leave some surprises.
All the books featured in the exhibition are available for sale in The Museum Gift shop.
5th Anniversary "BLOOM"
In 2016, River of Flowers will again commemorate the 22 February 2011 earthquake. This will be the fifth
anniversary and an important milestone for our people and city. For many this anniversary will be a poignant and significant time to reflect.
River of Flowers are partnering with Poetica and Canterbury Museum to produce a month- long interactive
exhibition in February 2016 called Bloom. This temporary exhibition will tell the story of the Canterbury
earthquakes, through messages of hope, flowers, stories and poetry tributes made by the people of
The exhibition runs from 1 to 28 February 2016.
On Monday 22 February, River of Flowers’ sites will be across the city to host local community commemorations. The exhibition at Canterbury Museum is designed to provide a space for people to reflect on the last five years and to explore the good in our recovery journey.
The exhibition is accompanied by three public programmes:
The Bloom Poetry Competition:
Entries were run through schools and closed on 9 November. The topic of the poem, to be no longer than eight lines or 40 words, is “Who or what gave you strength to carry on after the earthquakes?” A panel of judges has
chosen the five best poems which have been posted on the Poetica Facebook page.
The winning poem will feature in and inspire a mural created on a wall in the exhibition. The mural will be revealed on Monday, 4pm, 22nd February. The competition received over 100 entries.
Hand crafted River of Flowers:
Primary school children have been invited to create a handcrafted flower that will form a river of flowers
running through the Visitors Lounge in the Museum. Whole classes can take part and they can be brought into
the Museum during the month of February. Alternately, individual children and families are welcome to bring
theirs in or make them on site in workshops.
(No living flowers can be brought into the Museum or be part of the handcrafted flower as they can carry bugs
that could harm the treasures in the Museum).
River of Poetry:
Poetry can be written directly onto the walls of the Visitor Lounge in designated areas combining to make a
river of reflective poetry on the Canterbury earthquakes, the last five years and the future of our city. All High
Schools and Youth Groups are welcome to work with students and bring them in to write up their poems on the walls. Individual young people, friends and family can also come into the Museum and get help on site to create their poem during the month.
Readings from local authors:
We have an abundance of great authors and poets who have reflected beautifully on the earthquakes and our
story since. A curated sample of writing from each of our nine invited authors will be exhibited. This gives
visitors a chance to read and reflect through other’s powerful words throughout the month. On Sunday
afternoon’s author’s and poets will read from their books phrasing our collective experience in a powerful way. Sessions will have authors, poets and children’s book authors with time at the end for questions and
open mic for budding poets.
The River of Flowers facebook will have up to date information about the events and activities before and during February 2016
Readings by local authors and poets
2.00 pm - 3.00 pm every Sunday on February
Question time and open-mic for poets follow all sessions