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Karangahape Road mural reflects strong community spirit

Published: 12 December 2019

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Artwork brings community together

A group of local artists are uniting with a shared vision and goal of strengthening Karangahape Road’s identity during the precinct’s significant construction period.

The latest project, a 60 long metre mural called te pikinga au te maunga Karangahape, was officially unveiled and blessed on Thursday 5 December.

Situated on the southern end of the Karangahape Road overbridge, the temporary mural on removable panels is a creative collaboration between local artists, development agencies and the Auckland Council’s Auckland Design Office (ADO).

ADO’s City Centre Place Activation Team Leader Barbara Holloway says the Karangahape Road overbridge is a highly visible site providing an ideal canvas for the area’s creative community.

Barbara says the commissioning of the mural is a continuation of the Harunga project which gave local artists the opportunity to showcase their work on public rubbish bins and seats in Karangahape Road.

“Artists are vital for strengthening the street’s identity and they are playing an essential role while the street faces changes and a lengthy period of transition.”

The Karangahape Road enhancement project is being delivered by council and Auckland Transport and will see the creation of more cycleways, improved public transport and better pedestrian connections. Construction is estimated to be completed by late 2020.

Lifewise’s Merge Community's Margaret Lewis says the painting of the mural took place over the last few days of November.

“The mural celebrates Karangahape Road’s history as the walking ridge connecting the whenua (land) and the moana (ocean).

“The design phase of the artwork was led by Aroha Jensen and Tiare Turetahi but the painting also involved many of the Merge and Haven community, the Piki Toi crew and Housing First whanau.

“It was truly a collaborative community project and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the artists, Place Creative, Ross Liew, Grayson Goffe, Whaea Robyn and Taniko Rose, as well as the Auckland Design Office.”

Margaret says Karangahape Road has always been a haven for those disenfranchised Aucklanders often living at the edge of society.

“It’s giving our local artists the opportunity to feel proud of their art, enhance the precinct’s landscape and remind residents, workers and visitors alike of the distinctive character of this part of our city.”

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