Nature Murals 2018 Competition Winners

We're excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Nature Murals Competition! The winning designs will be receiving a $750 Resene voucher to paint their mural, plus a $1000 grant, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Resene.

Nature Murals 2018 Winners

Nature Murals winner Hannah Starnes

The quote on the mural reads ‘nature is not a place to visit. It is home’. The mural depicts a space man dearly tending to a magnolia seedling with a watering can, while fantails fly around him. I want to portray the preciousness of nature to this earth and how we are all responsible for looking after it- otherwise one day it will not be there to appreciate.

The spaceman has been on a long and lonely journey through the lifelessness of space, but earth will always be his home and coming home is worth it for him as he looks after his magnolia seedling and sees the large tree next to it which it will one day grow in to, and the fantails that have made the tree their home. I like to think it portrays the effort to which we need to go to look after our nature, because it is unique to our earth.

Clarentia Mursalim
original clarentia

Clarentia Mursalim

“Having survived an ice-age, numerous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, our native species have endured some life-changing circumstances, but nothing has been more disruptive than the arrival of humans.”

The purpose of this mural is to explicitly emphasize how the arrival of humans has severely impacted the delicate ecosystem of New Zealand. “Humans have wiped out 2/3 of New Zealand’s forests, which were vital habitat for some of our most unique species such as kiwi.”
Since human settlement, over 45 species have gone extinct, while some are left endangered.

The benefits of living comfortably in New Zealand has been paid dearly at the cost of native habitats. One of the main threats have come from felling of native forests for timber that has built our cities. This mural holds human construction accountable for the extinction of these species, and shows how it impacts the remaining ones.

The mural design takes advantage of the features surrounding the wall to convey this message. The Auckland City skyline is painted onto the door to portray a gateway to the man-made world. It symbolises the stark contrast between the natural environment and human civilisation. The stone archway, which bridges the city and the forest, appears to be standing in solitude to emphasize the synthetic nature of human construction comparing to the native environment. The birds in the mural are shown to peer into the city in curiosity to convey how man made construction has interrupted their natural way of life. They are painted in almost human size, so that they are more imminent and relateable to viewers.

Overall, this mural stimulates viewers into thinking about the underlying messages, through juxtaposition and play in scale. The message is important to convey as the natural environment directly contributes to the sustainability of all life on the planet. The World Health Organization released a report in 2005 claiming the state of ecosystems worldwide are contributing to increased illness and mortality rates of populations. Therefore, destruction of wildlife not only impacts native species, but also our society.

Chris Finlayson

An elevated mountain scene through gnarly trees upon a coastal landscape. Foreground rocks & tree trunks feature wrap around giant sticky plasters.

I think it great that some humans attempt to band together and aid natures future healing process but for most of the civilized world there is a superficial attempt at a quick fix and I feel this is to cover up a disconnect ....between ourselves and nature. Perhaps we could grow more trees.

Jacqueline Brand-Holt

The concept aspires to a better relationship with the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River) and its ecosystems. The subject of clean rivers is hot topic in 2018 combined with the recent legal status of Te Awa Tupua now recognised as having legal personhood. The idea for this mural was born in collaboration with Ned Tapa of Tupoho. We have met with local Iwi elder John Maihi who has advised on the concept, this dialogue will continue as the project develops.

The importance of collaboration for the project will be working with other local and Maori artists and Iwi because of its locality, its scale and its subject. Collaborators to date include Cecelia Kumeroa, Hemi Kiwikiwi, Bayley Kauika, Mina Bourke, Naani Waitai, Tanea Ngapeka, Dan Mills, Sonia Sunshine, and John Currin, with support persons Rere Sutherland, Rena Star and Lee Williams along with myself Jacqueline Brand-Holt co-ordinating.

Pākaitore is ‘the place of shared kai’ this is a proposal to paint the associated fish life of this place; Inanga, Tuna, Piharau, Flounder, Bully and other fish through their spawning and whitebait/glass eel stages. The ecology of the Te Awa Tupua is about keeping things in balance both from land slips and the loss of spawning habitat, there needs to be more planting along the river banks that grows into the water creating sanctuary for the spawn.

Toward the shallows on the left are globes of floating spawn, then toward the middle a cross hatch or whaariki (weaving) of the white bait and glass eels, and into the deep waters of the right end of the wall are the moving schools and shimmering of the grown Inanga and Tuna. Possibly including a few Kahawai which sometimes venture up river from the sea mouth. The important element is the bush above as this will slowly grow and cascade over the mural- it is representative of itself as the plants that need to be planted beside the river to support the fish spawn.

Joe McMenamin

The design depicts native NZ birds and trees. The tui is a common bird in the area so is in the centre of the design. The blue sky has been used in the background so that it blends into the landscape and scenery more easily. We want it to look like there are birds and trees, not an ugly water tower. The white patterns used in the design represent the birdsong.

The vibrant colours of the birds will bring colour and life to an otherwise grey, ugly water tower and the trees of the left side blend well with the existing stand of native trees beside the site.

The Nature Murals Competition is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, brought to you by Resene.