PangeaSeed Foundation came to my hometown last week. Twenty-five international artists spent the week transforming the walls of the inner city and Ahuriri (the inner harbour). There’s no escaping the message. And who would want to? They call it artivism—a combination of art and activism.
The project has captured the imagination of our community. Every mural I visited (I haven’t seen them all, yet) was surrounded by groups of admirers. Each mural tells a story, sends a message, and they do it a beautiful way.
We started out at Perfume Point. When I was kid I avoided going there. It got its name from the sewer outfall that used to spill waste not far from the beach. Thank goodness that no longer happens here. The beacon guiding the yachts and fishing trawlers to safe harbour has been transformed, and the only smell is fresh sea air.
We bumped into old friends (Hi there, G and J) who were doing the same as us—admiring the artwork and reflecting on the message.
One hundred metres further along the boardwalk, towards the inner harbour, shops and restaurants, hotels, offices, factories and warehouses are all newly painted. They’re vibrant, eye-catching, and stop traffic. Yep, cars slowed to a crawl, sometimes came to a complete halt while their divers gaped at the images. Luckily, it was a Sunday and a lazy one, and no-one was in a hurry.
Perhaps the most ambitious was this huge mural. You won’t be able to tell from this shot but the whale’s stomach is filled with ocean trash.
And immediately around the corner, near where our children once fished from the wharf, this image made me wonder/worry about life for future fishers.
And this, of a whale and a trawler, is one of my favourite images. The colours are eye catching, the attention to detail left me gasping and scrambling over the gardens. I was careful. No plants were harmed in my hunt for the perfect angle but I did get a beauty bruise on my shin!
There are Seascape murals in the city centre, too. I took these photos with my iPhone.
Conditions weren’t perfect and the photo of my all time favourite doesn’t do it justice. I need to get another shot when the sun is lower in the sky. But an easterly has set in, it’s raining and I can hear the waves crashing onto the foreshore as I type. Photography will have to wait. But for now, here it is: Askew1’s Kaitiaki. Isn’t she beautiful? Isn’t she haunting?
If you’d like to know more about Askew1 or see a better version of this image visit his website: Askew1.
For more walks around the world, usually on a Monday, visit Jo’s Monday walks.
And tell me, which of these murals is your favourite. Have you come across artivism in your part of the world?
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa