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Wellington artists, Elise Grangier and James Mitchell, have unveiled their award-winning mural, titled ‘Mind the Balance’ on the side of the Vinnie’s building in Newtown, Wellington.

Elise and James were one of ten winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals Competition 2020.

The mural features a busy pyramid made up of New Zealand creatures which are all linked to each other in an improbable manner to symbolise the complex balance and beautiful diversity of nature.

“The human character is part of this pyramid to remind us we are simply part of nature too. Being mindful of this idea can help us to live in a respectful and harmonious way inside our environment and our community. We are happy that this mural is on Vinnie’s building in Newtown for so many reasons! It’s our neighborhood, it’s a charity which helps the community and it’s an op shop where objects get a second life, ” says Elise.

“The community has welcomed us and the mural into their hearts with open arms and kindness. It has been an experience that we have both cherished and been proud to be part of.”

The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2020, with artists encouraged to submit mural designs which included an environmental message. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, and originality/creativity.

Winning designs receive a $1000 grant upon completion, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson, said: “This is the fourth year we have partnered with Resene to run our Nature Murals competition and we were absolutely amazed by both the quality and quantity of entries this year. Research has shown that the beautification of public spaces deters vandalism and anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti, and increases civic pride. We’re proud to partner with Resene again on this programme and we’re excited to see these murals come to life and beautify their little corners of New Zealand.”

The ten winning artists and regions are listed below, with their designs visible here.

  • Brigita Botma, Keep Our Home Clean NZ!, Auckland
  • Corey Harbrow, Adventures of Lucky n’ Bobs, Christchurch
  • Elise Grangier and James Mitchell, Mind the Balance, Wellington
  • Fiona Clarke, Our Planet, Auckland
  • Jil Sergent, Trouble in the Pegasus Basin, Hawke’s Bay
  • Kelly McGinley, Kaitiakitanga o te Moana, Tauranga
  • Kiran Parbhu, Power, Wellington
  • Mark Noble, Care For The World, And It Shall Care For You, Rotorua
  • Nest Arts Collective, In Our Hands, Rangiora
  • Ngā Atua Hou, Mangonui Mural Project, Mangonui

Mind the Balance, Elise Grangier and James Mitchell 

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