Richard McIlroy



  • Sculpture


  • Steel
  • Concrete


  • H2900 x W5200mm

Richard McIlroy, ‘Untitled’ (1989), CBD, Ōtautahi Christchurch

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


"Due to the likelihood of damage, the committee selecting art works for the new Christchurch Law Courts building decided that painted and printed works would not be appropriate. The committee stance is recorded in their minutes “The building is designed for hard wear and this must be taken into account when choosing art works. Paintings, prints and wall pieces, if considered appropriate to particular spaces, can be purchased at a later stage.”[1] Subsequently the committee recommended that the Justice Department commission sculptural works.

Richard McIlroy submitted his proposal, designating the Avon bank as the location for his sculpture. However there were two contenders for this position and it was felt that the site outside the law library would not deter from McIlroy’s work. Consequently McIlroy’s sculpture is in a more open space with level ground.

McIlroy is reluctant to give details about his work. The sculpture is a welded steel object entitled Untitled. According to Jim Espie in an interview after the sculpture’s installation, McIlroy felt that “if you call something “untitled” then you should leave it at that.”[2]

[1] Minutes of Meeting of the Art Works Committee, New Law Courts Building, 25 September, 1987.
[2] newspaper clipping”

~ quote from "Public Art in Central Christchurch: a study by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery" (1997), compiled by Simone Stephens.