Award-winning Nature Mural unveiled in Queenstown

2023 Resene Nature Mural Competition winner

Artist Melisa Nocelli has unveiled her award-winning mural titled ‘New Zealand: Where Wildlife Matters’ in Queenstown, Central Otago.

Ms Nocelli 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.

The mural, painted inside the Country Lane Queenstown Retail Village, and is designed to help raise awareness of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and the challenges facing it.

“New Zealand is well known for having a vast unique species of flora and fauna and it is essential to preserve and protect them for generations to come,” says Ms. Nocelli. “Since humans have inhabited New Zealand, there has been the loss of many native plant and animal species.”

“This mural is deeply meaningful to me as it represents my year and a half journey in this country,” says Ms Nocelli. “The captivating local flora and fauna stole my heart from day one, inspiring me to pay tribute to them through this mural and also emphasising the significance of wildlife conservation and its influence on our ecosystem.”

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, and originality/creativity. Winners have up to 12 months to bring their mural to life.

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

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! Melisa’s mural is one of the first of the 2023 murals to be fully completed, and we’re thrilled to see the result – we’re excited to watch the other talented winning artists bring their own murals to life around Aotearoa.”

Since its inception in 2017 there have been 57 murals commissioned by the programme, beautifying spaces across the country.

The ten winning artists and regions are listed below, with their designs visible on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

  • 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

The Resene paint colours used in ‘Where Wildlife Matters’ included Roadster, Turbo, Kaitoke Green, Now or Never, and Wild Side, and were applied both by brush and with a spray machine.

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

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