Leaving Auckland, we headed South taking in many places and sights as we travelled along, we stopped in various places for shopping and toilet breaks and made overnight stays in various towns. During these stops, I kept my eyes open and was pleasantly surprised to find good quality street art, some by renowned artists, some by local artists and many by local schoolchildren, many of those I captured will be shown here.
We stopped off in the surf town of Raglan for a few hours on the way to our accommodation, mainly to pick up supplies, while there I had some time to wander and took some photographs of artwork, some in the town and some on what was bland concrete block walls on the changing facilities, this transformation was carried out with brightly coloured paints and youthful creativity into a giant Raglan-themed mural following a three-day graffiti art workshop attended by a small group of Raglan Area School students.
I enjoyed my time in Rotorua visiting the thermal springs etc,. but I didn’t get much chance to really explore the street art scene, I could only find 1 large mural by Jeremy Spencer in the lane between Eruera and Hinemoa Streets. They had also taken the term street art to be just that with a work running the length of Haupapa Street in a project known as Rotorua’s Green Corridor.
What I was delighted with though was that all the street furniture, i.e. power distribution boxes were painted with great works, they certainly brightened up the streets.
Murapura was once a very prosperous forestry town, but as forestry became more reliant on machinery and less reliant on human labour, the region has struggled. With a 1200 population, of whom only 20% are in employment, where we had a short break to buy a snack for lunch, during that short time I found some interesting pieces of art, I hope was created by the towns youths.
We stopped in Lake Taupo for a few hours to collect some more travellers, I had time to grab a coffee, then I wandered off the main streets into the many hidden laneways, and discover a rich collection of artworks for myself – I had to keep my eyes open as there were many surprises around every corner!
Apparently, each year the town hosts Graffiato, a Street Art Festival which brings together some of the world’s best street artists over the Labour weekend to transform the town’s walls with over 80 murals to the urban laneways and streets of the town. Unfortunately, I arrived too early for this year’s festival.
Our last stop on the North Island was the capital, Wellington. I had spent some time there in the dim and distant path, but it was good to wander the streets catching up on old memories. I wasn’t disappointed by the quality and quantity of the street art on display.
And there’s more … I loved the mural featuring the estimated 190 sharks that are killed every minute for their fins, the mural was about 50 metres long and 6m high. Again I liked how they had incorporated art into the street furniture, even shipping containers had art added to them, and I couldn’t resist the Dolce and Banana store window.