Gently nudging the central city is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Ōtautahi – Sydenham.
Originally named for a china and crockery shop in the area, Sydenham has had many incarnations over the decades. In 1902, its bustling streets made it the largest borough in New Zealand and in the ensuring decades it was a thriving residential and commercial area. It was in this suburb that the best-selling novel Oracles and Miracles by Steven Eldred-Grigg was set.
In the 80’s and 90’s Sydenham lost a bit of its allure, but it’s now reclaiming its dynamism– as more and more creatives, retail businesses and eateries move into the ‘hood.
Art lovers are well served a range of galleries – Fiksate Gallery’s new home is a light-filled, expansive space. At Chambers Art Gallery, the space is big enough to display several shows at once, and as an added bonus there are working studios for artists on the premises as well. Form Gallery has a range of works from local and national artists including some stunning jewellery. Nearby is digital creative agency, Publica.
Artisan jewellers, Filigree and The National (just across Moorhouse Ave) are also residents in the area and well worth checking out.
The performing arts are also well represented in Sydenham. Southern Ballet is headquartered just across the tracks in Carlyle Street and Movement Art Practice has studios in Hawdon Street. if you want to catch an arthouse movie then The Colombo is home to the Academy Gold Cinema.
If you’re a fan of street art then you will love discovering the many murals in the side streets – some are hidden – but most are in plain sight. You can find works by Jacob Yikes, The DTR Crew with Ikarus and the late sculptor Llew Summers has a bronze in the council park on Colombo Street.