A new mural has been erected at the Tauranga Historic Village.
The large, environmentally-themed outdoor painting was designed by Tauranga artist Nick Eggleston, and completed during June and July by Nick and a team of around six artists and 30-40 children.
“It was originally commissioned by Tauranga City Council,” says Simone Anderson, director at The Incubator Creative Hub and organiser of the mural project.
“We always do projects like this in task forces at The Incubator. We have a meeting and ask who would like to be involved. In this task force, Nick was the team leader and designed it.”
Nick found he was immediately able to visualise the mural and the colours he wanted to use.
“I sketched it out and we went from there,” says Nick. “There's fish faces appearing out of the waves diving into the sea, with other fish and birds flowing towards the land and blues going into greens.”
The mural is rich with sea and bird life, alive with a kiwi, tui, whales, flying fish, pohutukawa and stars. Overall, the vibrant painting projects the strong connection between land and sea in the Bay of Plenty. Attached are the children's brightly painted circles, dotted across the scene.
“A key focus for us is community arts,“ says Simone. “So for the council commissioned mural, we thought it would be really great to have community involvement in that.
“We had an opportunity during a Lions Market Day at the village to run a workshop, so kids could paint different parts of the mural such as foliage, stars and fish. This means they can go see the mural and know they were a part of creating it.”
The mural panels were set up against the scaffolding surrounding the village saloon renovations, with the work observed daily by visitors to the village.
“It was painted over about four weeks,” says Simone. “Watching it being painted was a very nice alternative to the otherwise ugly view of scaffolding that the cafe patrons opposite had to gaze out on.
“After it was completed it was stored for a while, but ended up being surplus to council requirements. As our team had painted it, they contacted us and asked for suggestions of where the mural could go.”
Simone liaised with management who provided a grassed area near The Incubator for the mural to be erected.
“The plan now is to extend the space providing a stage area so it can be used for multiple functions,” says Simone. “We were so thrilled that it was coming back here.”