Apart­ment trans­formed into art­work

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

A grey apart­ment build­ing in cen­tral Hamil­ton has been hit with 50 shades of street art.

Donna Hawkins com­mis­sioned an Auck­land graf­fiti artist to turn her home into a grand-scale in­stal­la­tion.

At three storeys high, it can be seen from the city’s main street.

‘‘I like things that are dif­fer­ent. I fly flags out­side my house, I was into mo­saics for a while... I ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple that are dif­fer­ent,’’ Hawkins said.

She has lived in the Rostrevor St home for two years and when it came time for re­dec­o­ra­tion, she opted to step out­side of the box.

Now her build­ing is laden with nat­u­ral flo­ral and fauna, monarch but­ter­flies and, in the dis­tance, Fair­field Bridge.

‘‘The idea came about be­cause my house needed re­paint­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘It was look­ing very shabby and it’s quite an in­dus­trial look­ing place with a grey colour... it’s quite bor­ing.

‘‘So I thought it would be nice to have an ex­plo­sion of colour.’’

The art­work took four days to com­plete and cost around $5000.

The man be­hind the mu­ral was Jonny 4 Higher - an artist spe­cial­is­ing in mu­rals and graf­fiti.

‘‘He’s a very mys­te­ri­ous dude - I don’t know his last name,’’ Hawkins said.

‘‘He came from Auck­land and stayed in the apart­ment while he painted it.’’

On his sec­ond day in the build­ing, Jonny pulled open a win­dow to see a per­son in the carpark be­low tak­ing pho­tos of the mu­ral.

Hawkins said the art­work has also re­ceived a good re­sponse from neigh­bours, as well as Waikato River Author­ity next door.

‘‘What I wanted was some­thing peace­ful, green, with na­tive birds. I love the tui right on the front and the shot of Fair­field Bridge,’’ Hawkins said.

‘‘It’s lovely to come home to. If I had painted it plain grey again there would be noth­ing that in­ter­est­ing about liv­ing here.’’

She en­cour­aged other home­own­ers to spruce up their own en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘We can never have enough street art. The more the bet­ter,’’ Hawkins said. ‘‘It adds char­ac­ter and vi­brancy to where we live.’’

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