But­ter­flies brighten up grey wall

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

But­ter­flies have in­vaded a bat­tle­ship-grey back­drop in one in­ner-city sub­urb.

Eden Ter­race’s un­sightly fly­over wall on the cor­ner of Bright St and Aitken Tce has been given more than just a lick of paint in a res­i­dent-led project to brighten up the neigh­bour­hood.

The kowhai flower and but­ter­fly de­sign, cre­ated by Bright St artist Kate Millington, is near com­ple­tion.

It marks the end of a twoyear cam­paign to have the 300 square-me­tre wall spruced up with street art, cap­tur­ing the his­tory of the area and de­ter­ring van­dals ( Auck­land City Har­bour News, Fe­bru­ary 14, 2014).

Bright St res­i­dent Lyn Barnes says the com­mu­nity seems de­lighted by the trans­for­ma­tion.

Arch Hill res­i­dents have even been pop­ping over to take a look, hav­ing spot­ted the mu­ral from across the mo­tor­way.

‘‘It’s gone from 50 shades of grey to some­thing re­ally sexy,’’ she says.

‘‘The whole area is look­ing healthy, beau­ti­fied and feel­ing safer.’’

Barnes first came up with the idea in 2013, gath­er­ing sup­port from other res­i­dents, busi­nesses and Auck­land Coun­cil along the way.

Millington’s but­ter­fly de­sign was cho­sen dur­ing a com­pe­ti­tion to see which of four ideas would be brought to life on the blank can­vas. She has en­listed the help of artist Nigel Roberts to tackle the large project.

The coun­cil’s cen­tral joint fund­ing com­mit­tee stumped up more than $18,000 for the mu­ral and plant­ing of na­tive trees around the site.

Al­bert Eden Lo­cal Board mem­ber Graeme East wants to al­lay any fears that the wall will be torn down if plans to re­move the Do­min­ion and New North roads in­ter­change is re­alised.

‘‘My pro­posal is to leave that wall pre­cisely as it is, in fact my pro­posal is to leave all the walls ex­actly as they are,’’ he says.

The board has asked Auck­land Trans­port to in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of re­mov­ing the in­ter­change con­sist­ing of a fly­over bridge link­ing Do­min­ion and New North roads, the New North Rd un­der­pass and two ramps con­nect­ing the two roads.

‘‘Some walls will wind up be­ing buried but that one will re­main – there is no need to touch them, there­fore the art­work will not be im­pacted at all.’’

The res­i­dents be­hind the mu­ral project have now formed a char­i­ta­ble trust. They plan to in­stall se­cu­rity cam­eras to de­ter tag­gers, paint the in­side of the pedes­trian tun­nel and plant more kowhai.

Barnes also hopes there will be funds left over to put to­wards the ‘‘but­ter­fly gar­den’’ op­po­site the wall.

She has been main­tain­ing the patch of land her­self for the past three years with per­mis­sion from the coun­cil, plant­ing trees and plants to at­tract but­ter­flies, in­sects and birds.

Res­i­dents would like to see it turned into a re­serve in the fu­ture.

A street party will be held to cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the mu­ral.

Go to face­book.com and search ‘‘The Wall on the Bright Side’’ for de­tails.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see artist Nigel Roberts spray-paint­ing the out­lines of the de­sign.

Huge project: Artist Kate Millington gets to work paint­ing her kowhai flower and but­ter­fly de­sign onto the fly­over.

Nearly fin­ished: A street party will be held to cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the mu­ral.

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