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Leave No Trace – Ghostcat

Architecture, Visual Arts
image Image: Ghostcat

The Volcano Café – formerly 42 London Street, Lyttelton

Part of the city-wide project Leave No Trace by Mike Beer AKA Ghostcat

Leave No Trace is part of the Christchurch City Council’s Year of the Arts. The trail of miniature architectural facades by scratch-build artist Mike Beer AKA Ghostcat is an ode to Ōtautahi buildings loved and lost…

The Volcano Café, formerly situated at 42 London Street was an icon of hospitality, locally, nationally, and internationally. The art deco building, painted in vibrant red and yellow, was as vivacious inside as out. For over 20 years the café was a lively hub, with a bustling kitchen, avant-garde art on the walls, and parties ringing into the night. For 23 years the Volcano Café (and the adjoining and inseparable Lava Bar, itself painted in striking blue) served as a Lyttelton institution, a festive meeting place for locals and visitors from all walks of life and corners of the globe. Damaged beyond repair in the February 22, 2011 earthquake, the building, along with the Lava Bar, was demolished just months later. However, the Volcano Café remains a beloved legend of London Street.   

Artist Bio: Mike Beer AKA Ghostcat is a New Brighton-based artist whose scratch-built works capture a sense of place, whether recreations of beloved buildings or reminders of the playful potential of urban space. Utilising a wide range of materials and techniques in his creations, Ghostcat’s intricately detailed works invite inspection and ultimately elicit wonder. Ghostcat has created a number of notable commissions and exhibited widely across Aotearoa.


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