A joint initiative to incorporate an urban area for local business and the community.
At the end of last year, Gavin Smith, Scott Bason and I were asked to look at a potential artwork opportunity for our building to help promote the area for the NRL Auckland 9 tournament in January 2015.
During 2014, the Textile and Fresh & Clean branches have been working with the local business community to see if we could incorporate an urban area as a way of continuing to develop this relationship.
At the meeting we were shown a design reflective of the area, however not being an avid art critic I had not heard of the artists Phat One and Lady Diva. Needless to say, we were a little dubious.
After much discussion, it was agreed a mural would be far better than the current ‘off white’ wall and we agreed to meet the artist to discuss further.
A week or so later I was greeted by Charles and Janine (Phat One and Lady Diva) and all my initial reservations disappeared. They explained the significance of the artwork to the region and how the area had changed over the years. They also showed me some of their previous work and how they liked to express the meaning in their art.
Painting started on the 3rd of January and in less than a week the mural was completed. The finished design shows two Putangitangi ducks, one male and one female, flying together and includes references to the area’s past as swamp land. The ducks are intended to symbolise Maori and Pakeha culture moving together in unity.
The mural was blessed by the local Kiwi and business in time for the start of the Auckland 9’s. Unfortunately, the blessing didn’t extend to the NZ Warriors as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals!
Steve Barden, Branch Manger
Note: The photo shows paint runs on the birds, which is deliberate!!!