The native kererū or wood pigeon proudly adorns the Papakura Art Gallery in a new mural by artists Charles and Janine Williams.
Papakura – Red Earth features an artistic interpretation of Red Hill, on which the kererū proudly stands, carefully watching over the locals while also peacefully guarding the gallery and the tāonga or treasures displayed inside.
Kererū are frequently seen in Papakura and surrounding communities. Considered a symbol of purity and peace, the birds spend a lot of their time feeding off miro, tataire and pūriri berries – which appear in the work.
Tree canopies and shaded backgrounds blend down into the warm sunset and red haze of the whenua (land) while a contemporary whare design shape reflects the architecture and design of the building and acknowledges the local marae.
The suburb of Red Hill lies on an ancient pā site known in Māori as Pukekiwiriki and is situated on a dormant volcano – one of Auckland’s smallest.
Papakura is a Māori word believed to have been derived from papa (abbreviation of Papatūānuku), meaning earth or flat and kura – meaning red/reddish glow, reflecting the rich, fertile soil upon which the local community was founded.
The mural was funded by Papakura Local Board and be officially blessed this weekend (August 13).
About the artists
Charles and Janine’s style of work is often very graphical and colourful. They have a passion for presenting the beauty of Aotearoa, and in particular its endemic/native birds, in a modern and colourful context in communities and for collectors around the world.
In south Auckland, among their many works are a series of works at Tōia, Ōtāhuhu’s recreation precinct which opened in 2015.
Earlier this year, the artists rain art work, 'Hauhake’ was unveiled to officially launch Auckland Council’s Matariki Festival 2016.