Award winning mural unveiled in Aro Valley, Wellington

Artist Matt Russell has unveiled his new mural titled ‘RESILIENCE’ in Aro Valley, Wellington as one of ten winners in this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Nature Mural Competition.

The competition gives artists across the country the opportunity to paint a mural, with an environmental theme or message, to help beautify an area in their local community.

The mural features a man staring longingly over a hill covered in waste, whilst blowing on a dandelion. Matt says the environmental message behind the mural is that the desire and efforts of a single person to see the beauty of nature reverse from the negative impact humans have caused, is enough to make a positive change.

“My inspiration for the design was the amazing ability that nature has to persist and survive despite the impact that humanity has on it. The pōhutukawa growing from the rubbish pile shows that with our help it can flourish again and that with small sacrifices from everyone, we can work with nature to aid in its recovery.”

Matt says that he received a lot of positive feedback from the community whilst painting the mural in Aro Valley.

“I have spent a lot of time in Aro Valley and this mural has allowed me to meet many of the fantastic people of this great community. I have loved my time painting this piece and hope that this is my first of many murals around Wellington.”

Matt used a selection of Resene paint colours in the mural including Studio, Dancing Girl, Biloba Flower and Fog on the background; Half Limerick, Sushi, Conifer and Spritzer on the tree leaves; and Rapture, La Bamba, Glorious and Cupid on the Pōhutakawa flowers.

About the Resene Nature Murals Competition
The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2022. Community members were called on to submit mural designs, which include an environmental message, for a wall to paint in their local community. 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. Winners then have  until the end of 2022 to bring their mural to life.

Winning designs receive a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural, receive a $1,000 grant upon completion

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson, says: “Our Resene Nature Murals Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities. In its sixth year, this competition continues to grow in popularity and we’re always so impressed with the calibre of entries we receive that narrowing down the selection to just ten winners is getting harder and harder. We’re so excited to see these murals come to life, knowing how the beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride and deterring vandalism and anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti.”

The ten winning artists and regions are listed below, and their designs can be viewed here.

  • Micaela van den Berg, Sunrise, Kaipara
  • Brigita Botma, Harmony, Auckland
  • Carol Green & Kim Littlejohn, Bringing Nature to the City, Auckland
  • Corey Harbrow, Keep NZ Beautiful, Christchurch
  • Danny Owen, Nature, Invercargill
  • Leon Hohepa, Future Generations, Porirua
  • Matt Russell, Resilience, Wellington
  • Paranika Dudley Heeth, The Return of Nature, Auckland
  • Shann Whitaker, The Interconnection of all Living Things, Mangawhai
  • Vanessa Barclay, The World is in Our Hands, Cambridge

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