Art de­picts the heart of a com­mu­nity

Ruapehu Press - - Your Local News - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

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.

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