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Hawke’s Bay artists, Jil Sergent, has unveiled her award-winning mural titled, ‘Trouble in the Pegasus Basin’, at Bledisloe Primary School in Taradale, Napier.

Jil was 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 an underwater scene of Pegasus Basin, located six kilometres off the coast of Heretaunga. Jil is passionate about the environment and through this mural wanted to convey the threat oil and gas exploration, overfishing and pollution has to the Heretaunga coast. She hopes that the mural, which is displayed prominently in the school grounds, will evoke many questions from students, teachers and the wider school community around the environment and the health of our oceans.

“The health of our environment is under attack from corporations in the name of greed – the waters of Napier are no exception. Commercial fishing and careless council storm water and sewage systems have already left our Pegasus Basin in an all-time state of disease. With the threat of oil and gas exploration always looming on the horizon there is a lot to be concerned about – we need oil free seas,” says Jil.

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. Artists then had 12 months to bring their mural to life.

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

Trouble in the Pegasus Basin, Jil Sergent

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