Conversations over the Gap

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Education and Arts


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




This article was originally published as: Newman-Storen, R. E., & Reynolds, R. (2013). Conversations over the Gap. Performance Research: a journal of the performing arts, 18(3), 47-53. Original article available here


Scenography relates to the study and practice of design for performance, the articulation of space. As Performance Studies has broadened notions of performance to include ritual and everyday life behaviours, scenography must be broadened to provide perspective on the design of our everyday environments, especially our cities. Since the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes, the central city has been 70% demolished and is full of gaps: unarticulated spaces. This paper is an experiment in documenting the extraordinary aesthetic interventions on these gaps by the Christchurch organisation Gap Filler through conversation. We are particularly interested in how these spatial articulations may be read differently by those making and participating in them (Ryan) from those experiencing them from afar through images and social media (Renee). We seek to problematise the notion and experience of ‘environment/s’ by questioning proximity and distance, constructions of place and space, and how meaning is being made from acting inside or outside these gaps of catastrophe in the urban landscape of Christchurch. Through a combination of interview, dialogue and conceptual grounding we delve into our divergent experiences of these projects to explore the significance of these aesthetic inscriptions in space and time.