Mu­rals mak­ing a mark

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

The magic of Hawke’s Bay’s en­vi­ron­ment, cul­ture, peo­ple and places has been cap­tured in two stun­ning mu­rals that have trans­formed walls in Hast­ings and Have­lock North.

The mu­rals were com­mis­sioned by the Hast­ings District Coun­cil and overseen by the Land­marks Trust, with a re­quire­ment that they should re­late to the space they were in, telling the story of their lo­ca­tion, which could be cul­tural, architectural, his­tor­i­cal or en­vi­ron­men­tal.

In Have­lock North’s Vil­lage Green, artist JiL of Aotearoa wrapped up re­cently af­ter a month of long days in the heat, wind and traf­fic noise to cre­ate her colour­ful work ti­tled

Tu¯ ran­gawae­wae.

On this 50m2 wall, JiL con­tin­ued the theme she’s used in other works across Hawke’s Bay, from Wairoa to Hast­ings, in­clud­ing schools such as Frim­ley and Park­vale, cel­e­brat­ing the re­gion’s mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and unique flora and fauna.

Her mu­ral tra­verses the district’s dra­matic land­scape from Te Mata Peak to the sea, where a friendly orca has come to play. Art Deco el­e­ments fea­ture through­out and there’s a nod to Hast­ings be­ing the fruit bowl of New Zealand.

The district’s agri­cul­ture, viti­cul­ture and hor­ti­cul­ture are cel­e­brated, merg­ing into rivers teem­ing with life, and wa­ter­ways such as the Karamu¯ Stream with its re­cent plant­ings in­cor­po­rated.

Birds are rep­re­sented with gan­nets, pu¯ keko, shag, the nowex­tinct huia, and a black­bird, and the hu­man im­pact on the land­scape is recog­nised in struc­tures such as the Sir Ian Ath­field-de­signed Buck House, and the Paul Dib­ble sculp­ture in Have­lock North.

“I’ve used lots of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments to re­flect the many dif­fer­ent facets of Hawke’s Bay,” she says.

“We have it all, we love it all. Great things grow here.”

Over in Hast­ings in the carpark at 108 East­bourne Street East a 180m2 wall is now home to a work by artist Cin­zah Merkens, in­spired by a Nga¯ ti Kahun­gunu whakatauki (proverb), Te haaro o te Kaahu ki tu­awhakarere or View the fu­ture with the in­sight of a hawk.

Best known in Hawke’s Bay for his works in Napier as part of the Mu­rals for Oceans project, Cin­zah chan­nelled the dra­matic Hast­ings land­scape as a back­ground to the main fea­ture of the hawk — which he chose due to the species be­ing com­mon to the area. “Hawks are ev­ery­where and here it is a guide watch­ing over the ranges and the peo­ple.”

Also fea­tured in his work are grapevines de­pict­ing the re­gion’s thriv­ing wine in­dus­try, Te Mata o Ron­gokako, and star con­stel­la­tions in­clud­ing Te Matau a Ma¯ ui that was used for nav­i­ga­tion.

Cin­zah was putting the fi­nal touches on his mu­ral this week, in­clud­ing an over­laid stylised topo­graph­i­cal map of the re­gion with all of its ma­jor wa­ter­ways, roads and town­ships painted in gold acrylic.

Hast­ings district coun­cil­lor Wendy Schol­lum, who was on the panel that as­sessed and se­lected the mu­ral sub­mis­sions, said it was great to see the mu­rals in their full and spectacular scale and colour.

“What a dif­fer­ence they have made to the pre­vi­ously life­less and un­used walls. They add to the vi­brancy of both sites while also re­flect­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing the land­scapes, peo­ple, his­tory and ac­tiv­i­ties that make the Hast­ings district the heart of Hawke’s Bay.

“I am thrilled with the works of art that Cin­zah and JiL of Aotearoa have cre­ated for our com­mu­ni­ties.”

JiL of Aotearoa with her mu­ral at the Vil­lage Green in Have­lock North.

Artist Cin­zah with his mu­ral on East­bourne St, Hast­ings.

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