Scooter ready for suicide awareness trip
It’s not everyday that a scooter becomes an artist’s canvas - but that is what Far North artist Lester Hall has found himself working on.
Mental health advocate Mike King, rang Lester out of the blue, asking him to paint a sponsored scooter which will be driven from Bluff to Spirits Bay, near Cape Reinga to raise awareness around suicide.
The Suzuki bike was dropped off by Mike and Lester was given the freedom to do what he pleased with it.
‘‘Mike’s got it right, it’s about hope and changing attitudes,’’ Lester says.
Lester has named the artwork ‘Pukana for Hope’ - with a number of messages including arrows pointing to the mind and the mouth, encouraging people to think before you speak.
‘‘Hope is his [Mike’s] word, and unity and aroha are words I’ve chosen that feed straight into hope.’’
Two names are painted on the bike: Jonathan and Stormy.
‘‘I’m just a random artist and I knew of two people’s names to write on the bike, and that’s disturbing in itself,’’ Lester says.
The names are painted within a heart which is half brown, and half white; representing Maori and Pakeha.
Jonathan was Lester’s grandnephew. While Lester didn’t know Stormy before she died, a connection was formed with Stormy’s family after her mother Tracey reached out to Lester - admiring some of his artwork.
Tracey says her daughter would love to know she is involved.
‘‘For her to be out there and her name out there travelling around the country assisting with this crisis that this nation has been faced with for so long - she will be over the moon that she is playing a very small part in
‘‘It's about hope and changing attitudes.’’ Lester Hall
regards to encouraging people to seek help.
‘‘Which is ironic, since she couldn’t do that herself.’’
‘‘She will be smiling down on that one for sure from above. It’s a super cool story if the messages painted upon the bike hits someone’s heart and makes someone rethink and re-evaluate their lives then that is all good with us.’’
Details for the scooter trip are yet to be confirmed.
Where to get help:
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
Lester Hall working on ‘Pukana for Hope’.
Lester Hall paints Stormy’s name on the bike.