Local artist portrays the preciousness of nature in award-winning mural

Nelson artist, Hannah Starnes recently unveiled her award-winning mural that portrays the preciousness of nature, its uniqueness and our collective responsibility to look after it.

Starnes was one of five winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s (KNZB) Nature Murals Competition 2018.

Nature Murals is an annually run design competition that aims to eliminate and prevent graffiti vandalism, while at the same time enriching the urban landscape with murals that have an environmental theme or message. Artists are challenged to incorporate into their design in some way the natural environment that exists on or around the wall.

KNZB CEO, Heather Saunderson says that KNZB is proud to partner with Resene again this year to deter vandalism and ‘Paint New Zealand Beautiful’.

“Research shows us that there is a marked reduction in tagging when murals are used to replace graffiti vandalised walls. Nature Murals is a great way to not only enhance our urban environment, but to also celebrate up-and-coming artists, their creativity and passion for the environment.”

The winning designs for 2018 were selected on the basis of their environmental message, the enhancement to the community and the mural’s originality and creativity. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Resene, each winning artist received a $1000 grant and an additional $750 to put towards all the paint and materials needed to bring their mural to life.

Hannah Starnes’ breath-taking mural incorporates a live 5m tall magnolia tree in the foreground, set against an image of a spaceman who has been on a long journey through space to return home and tend his seedling. The quote reads ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home’. “I like to think the mural portrays the effort to which we need to go to look after our nature, because it is unique to our earth.

I want to portray the preciousness of nature to this earth and how we are all responsible for looking after it – otherwise one day it will not be there to appreciate.” says Starnes.


Hannah Starne’s completed mural

Painting the mural on the side of the Uplift Float Centre building on Nelson’s Rutherford Street took Starnes several weeks to complete. “It was a really cool experience and hopefully the first in Nelson of what will be many artists to do some big scale art with a valuable message for everyone to see!”

Winners of the 2018 Natures Mural Competition were Hannah Starnes (Nelson), Clarentia Mursalim (Auckland), Chris Finlayson (Tasman), Jacqueline Brand-Holt (Whanganui) and Joe McMenamin (Fielding).

Nature Murals is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, brought to you by Resene.