Award-winning mural unveiled in Brooklyn, Wellington

2023 Resene Nature Mural Competition winner

Artist Kiran Parbhu has unveiled his award-winning mural titled ‘The Birds and the Bees (and all the pollinators in between)’ in the suburb of Brooklyn in Wellington.

Kiran was one of ten winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Mural Competition 2023. This is the second time the artist has won the competition having previously painted the mural ‘Power’ on the side of the substation on Brooklyn Road in 2020.

His mural this year, which is located on the Lynwood Court Complex on Ohiro Road in Brooklyn, features New Zealand native flora and fauna including Kōtukutuku (New Zealand Tree Fuschia), Kopakopa (Chathams Island Forget-me-not), Ngutukākā (Kākābeak), Poroporo, Mānuka, Koromiko (Hebe), Brown Bush Ant, Korimako (Bellbird), Red Admiral Butterfly, Common Blue Butterfly, Flower Longhorn Beetle, Moko Kākāriki (Wellington Green Gecko), Honeybee and Bumblebee.

“My mural highlights the many and varied creatures that pollinate the plants around us. They literally help Keep New Zealand Beautiful! It’s impossible to capture them all but I tried to fit in as many as possible and I think noticing some of the smaller and more subtle ones amongst the more large and prominent is a neat part of the mural for people to discover as they pass by. All of these pollinators can be found locally and hopefully the mural helps people consider what they can do to help create space for them in our community. One aspect of this is providing abundant food for them and I have highlighted a number of flowering native plants. Hopefully this will provide some inspiration for what people can add to their gardens to help,” says Kiran.

“Altogether, it all makes for a lively, colourful and hectic composition which I hope will brighten the day of the many people who pass through Brooklyn. It’s a privilege to be a part of the Nature Mural Competition again. Thank you to Keep New Zealand Beautiful and Resene for the providing the opportunity. Thanks also to the many people who have waved, clapped and stopped to chat with me over the last month, it’s been great to be out in community!”

The Resene Nature Mural Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2023. Community members were called on to submit environmentally-themed mural designs to paint on a wall in their local community. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected in June based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, originality and creativity. Winners have up to 12 months to bring their mural to life.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says: “Our Resene Nature Mural Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities. The beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride, deterring vandalism and reducing anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti.”

“We were impressed with the dozens of high-calibre entries we received, so much so that narrowing the selection to just ten winners was a tough task! We’re thrilled to see the end result of Kiran’s mural coming to life.”

Since its inception in 2017, there have been 57 Nature Murals commissioned as a result of the programme.

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

  • – Brigita Botma (Coromandel Town): Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute
  • – Sylvie Currin (Kaitaia): Kauri, Spirit of Resilience
  • – Terri Donaldson (Maungaturoto): The Creatures of Kaipara
  • – Mel Eaton (Christchurch): Floating with Whio
  • – Natasha Fitzpatrick (Auckland): Protect us
  • – Stan Mans (Hastings): Breath of Life
  • – Melisa Nocelli (Arrowtown): Where Wildlife Matters
  • – Kiran Parbhu (Wellington): The Birds and the Bees (and all the pollinators in between!)
  • – Romina Romero (Auckland): Pukapuka o Tamaki (Lungs of Auckland)
  • – Robert Scanlan (Christchurch): The Southern Migration of the Godwit

Kiran’s mural is located on the Lynwood Court Complex, 157-159 Ohiro Road, Brooklyn. Some of the Resene paint coulours used are Candyfloss for the prominent Kakabeak flower with the flowers in the background using the colour ‘Paprika’. The green cap of the flower is ‘Citron’; the gecko’s base colour is ‘Jungle Juice’ with the skin details in ‘Elephant’, ‘Wham’ and ‘Parsley’. The Hebe flowers are primarily ‘Lip Service’ with ‘Glamourpuss’ and ‘Revolver’ to add highlights and shadows.

View a map of all Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals here.

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