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A timely mural unveiled for the Karangahape Road community

Published: 21 May 2020

A new mural has been unveiled on Karangahape Road overbridge, with an encouraging message to the local community as the much-loved street comes to life again under Alert Level 2.

Well- known artist and local Karangahape Road community member, Ross Liew and his son Bo Liew-King, created the mural as part of Auckland Council’s Karangahape Road enhancement project, and to cover up graffiti that occurred on the overbridge during lockdown. The mural has a message to their community that reads “Be kind Karangahape. Kia kaha, Kia māia, Kia manawanui. Be kind Karangahape.”

“We worked within our Alert Level 3 ‘art bubble’, which consisted of my son and I. We had an 80-metre-long piece of wall to work with, so we thought it was a great opportunity to write a message of encouragement to our community.

“When I think of the Karangahape Road community I think we are kind, and we are resilient and strong but we are also vulnerable at the same time, so I wanted to send a message of support. It is a diverse community, there are a lot of small, owner-operator businesses, individuals who struggle to make ends meet, and not for profits, so it will have been, and continues to be a hard time for many,” says Ross Liew.  

The mural was finished last week in time for the move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday, and was met with the support of locals.

The Karangahape Road Business Association’s Manager Michael Richardson said how thrilled they were with this project.

“This is a fantastic addition to the Karangahape Road community. Now more than ever it is important to show collaboration, strength and kindness and this mural is all about that and represents the identity of Karangahape Road.”

The mural is part of a wider project happening on Karangahape Road to enhance the street, which includes: creating a better street environment, greater pedestrian connections, cycle ways and access to more public transport options once the CRL opens.

Waitematā and Gulf ward Councillor Pippa Coom, is encouraged to see this kind of artwork going up on Karangahape Road.

“We know Karangahape Road to be such a vibrant and unique place with a strong sense of community. A significant enhancement project is underway and part of that includes creating more art along the road.

“We are grateful to Ross Liew for the positive message he brings through his beautiful artwork.”

Ross Liew’s mural is a temporary art piece that runs along the north side of the overbridge, behind the newly installed Paua shell inspired bus shelters. It will remain there until the permanent artwork is installed later in the year.

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