By Larna McCarthy | Posted: Saturday May 2, 2020
Emerson Street Playground Mural Project
Jonny Waters & Claire Rye are both local artists looking to collaborate on this Mural opportunity. They both bring different skills and experience to the job and believe they can create something visually powerful, lasting and unique for the community of Concord.
Initially the artists wanted to create a design that had a heavy Mãori influence, based on the story of Te Rakitauneke and his Taniwha – Matamata. However, after conversations with Mana Whenua from Õtãkou, decided against this path due to the murals proximity to bathrooms.
Nevertheless, the artists have still embraced a cultural element to our designs through the use of nature, koru, kowhaiwhai and Mãori text. Ko Makamaka Te Mauka – Saddle Hill is the Mountain.
The main wall design, by Jonny, embraces the community of Concord and depicts different Youth gazing out to the beautiful natural environment surrounding them. Nature and ‘happy’ housing creates the feeling of connection and closeness to ones neighbours within the surrounding suburbs.
The back wall design, by Claire, presents the idea of living in Balance and Harmony with Nature, inspired by the writers Emerson and Thoreau referenced in the Creative Brief. This imagery presents literal symmetry and balance, helping to reinforce the idealogy of the writers. We see birds flying and nature thriving in harmony together with the koru heart, moon and reflecting ocean at the heart of the design. The bright colours represent a saturated colour pallete of real life nature and this will be most appealing to visitors and neighbours of the playground, especially children.
The quote designs read one of the quotes provided in the Creative Brief
which we felt resonated strongly with the Concord environment but also
complemented the designs we created. It reads “Live In The Sunshine,
Swim The Sea, Drink The Wild Air”. These energetic designs employ
different font styles to create interest and contrast in the overall
design. These different sections can be chopped and changed depending on
which word the artists think are stronger and more suited for each section. This
is a very fun and playful part of our design which would be placed on
the front of the toilet block.
This mural project was organised through the Greater Green Island Community Network, with funding from Keep Dunedin Beautiful and the Dunedin City Council.