Street art gets the blues

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

HE HAS al­ready trans­formed eight silo tanks along Auck­land’s waterfront and now El­liot O’Don­nell, aka Askew One, is paint­ing the town blue for his lat­est project.

The graf­fiti artist has teamed up with the Auck­land Blues ahead of the 2013 In­vestec Su­per Rugby sea­son to spray paint a bare brick wall in Mt Roskill which will act as the back­drop for this year’s team poster.

More than 60 litres of paint and four days of solid work were needed to com­plete the project.

‘‘It’s al­ways great to work on a big scale project which a lot of peo­ple will see and the mantra is really pos­i­tive,’’ Mr O’Don­nell says.

‘‘They put a lot of cre­ative free­dom in our hands which was really nice and they were cer­tainly open to just let­ting me do what I do.’’

Blues head coach Sir John Kir­wan says he is thrilled with the con­cept.

The poster will in­cor­po­rate the words ‘‘bet­ter never stops’’ to echo the sen­ti­ments of the new-look team and coach­ing staff at the Blues.

‘‘To see it spray painted across a huge wall for ev­ery­one to see will be quite spec- tac­u­lar,’’ Sir John says.

Mr O’Don­nell says the mes­sage will strike a chord with most peo­ple not just Blues fans about striv­ing to be bet­ter.

Once the stretch of wall on Carr Rd by the South West­ern Mo­tor­way is fully tran- sformed the 37-man squad will be su­per­im­posed onto it.

The poster will be re­leased on Fe­bru­ary 22 ahead of the the Blues’ first game of the sea­son on Fe­bru­ary 23.

Mr O’Don­nell says Auck­lan­ders are warm­ing up to the idea of bring­ing pub­lic art back into the city.

‘‘It’s gone through its grey stage and ev­ery­one’s re­alised that it’s feel­ing a bit op­pres­sive and a bit dis­con­nected from what the cul­ture of the city is – it’s [the grey­ness] not really in­dica­tive of the peo­ple that live here.’’

Big pic­ture: More than 60 litres of paint and four days of solid work were needed to com­plete the project. Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see more pho­tos of the wall be­ing painted.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

Street artist: Highly renowned graf­fiti and street artist El­liot O’Don­nell, aka Askew One, has painted a bare brick wall by the south­west­ern mo­tor­way as the back­drop for the 2013 Auck­land Blues poster.

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