Art depicts the heart of a community
The presence of a popular street artist in Taumarunui brought out plenty of well wishers, toots from passing cars and donations of food.
Grahame Hoete [aka Mr G] spent a week depicting a scene from history on the Whanganui river with a boat full of sheep on the side of the Farmlands building.
The community came out in full force to celebrate the occasion at the official unveiling on Saturday.
Kaumatua Hokioterangi Ngataierua-tinirau blessed the mural saying the awa is a symbol that connects everyone together.
‘‘I am the river and the river is me and to me that is the statement and it represents the community.
‘‘The essence is all one, it’s an energy all on its own.’’
The mural is number six out of 15 Hoete has been commissioned to do for Farmlands throughout the country as part of the cooperative’s Heart of the Community project.
Hoete said it was an honour and a privilege to be in Taumarunui connecting with the locals.
‘‘It’s two fold, I’m painting a mural that hopefully captures an aspect of the heart of the community but on the other side what we do is connecting to the locals and that is what we love.’’
‘‘Much love Taumarunui, it’s been an honour to paint your awa [river] so thank you.’’
Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron said the mural was extremely precious and linked the north and south entrance, which is ‘‘magnificent’’.
‘‘We’ve got King Tawhio on one end who was a commander of the whole of this river and you’ve brought him down to here.
‘‘This is very important to everyone. We’re extremely proud and lucky to have this.’’
Hoete and his wife were taken down the river to the site which is 30mins from Whakahoro.
The couple were able to research the history of the area using Ron Cooke’s books, Roll Back the Years as inspiration.
Farmlands strategy and communications director, Colm Hamrogue said the company was still about the community.
‘‘To be able to take everything that is special about a community and put it on a wall with paint is an outstanding achievement.’’
Kaikoura is next on the list to get a mural which will mark one year after the earthquakes.
Before then the pair will have some down time in Christchurch and the Chatham Islands.