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Creative and pixelated Christchurch fundraising initiative keeps it in the family

Creative and pixelated Christchurch fundraising initiative keeps it in the family

When it comes to the latest fundraising initiative for Christchurch, it’s a case of both what you know and who you know. Pixels for Christchurch launched last night at the Yoobee flagship store in Auckland’s Britomart. It involves turning artist Shane Hansen’s artwork ‘Arohanui Otautahi’ into 100,000 pixels that the public can purchase, raising $100,000 for Christchurch in the process. So far over 10,000 pixels have been sold.

It was Shortland Street star Kiel McNaughton who sparked the original fundraising idea, and with a few handy family connections, the idea took on a life of its own. Hansen, who is McNaughton’s cousin, suggested his artwork be broken down into pixels for sale, at a cost digestible to the public. Pixels are available for purchase in blocks of 10, meaning each donation is valued at $10.  

McNaughton then went about enlisting the services of his brother Isaac to take care of the website and Facebook integration side of things, meanwhile Hansen’s cousin Johnson McKay, director at brand development agency FlyCreative, took care of the project’s art direction, marketing and sponsorship. Kiel and Isaac's dad Warwick McNaughton and extended family member Leanne Molloy round off the project's family connections.

Left: Kiel McNaughton, Center: Shane Hansen, Right: Johnson McKay

“We wanted to do something from our own skill set using our time rather than just pulling $500 from our pockets to donate,” said McKay. 

McKay acknowledges it’s difficult to pinpoint when the very last pixel will be sold, but the goal is to reach the $100,000 mark by Christmas. 

McKay’s workplace client connections have also enabled the project to get funding backing from TelstarClear, with Yoobee getting on board by creating the Auckland launch event. 

Having previously lived in Christchurch, Hansen has a lot of personal connections with the city. His artwork has been created as an emotive message of support for those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes. The original, painted on pine in Canterbury colours with the word Arohanui nestled within the intricate swirls of colour, will be auctioned to raise more funds for the Pixels For Christchurch appeal. 

Find out more about the project in the video below or check out the Pixels for Christchurch website, www.pixels4christchurch.org.nz

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