Thursday, July 18, 2024

Hamilton unveils newest mural

After more than 200 hours of preparation and painting, the banks of the Waikato River have been transformed by Hamilton’s newest mural, Teena Koorua.

Inspired by the story of Te Winika – an ancient waka that was once dismantled, partially buried and left to deteriorate – the mural explores the connections with taatou tuupuna (our ancestors) and the knowledge passed down through the generations.

Hamilton City Council saw the opportunity to transform the newly built retaining wall on Grantham Street into a piece of art that would enhance the unique Waikato River experience.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says public art helps with the development and ongoing vibrancy of a mature city and also had an important role in sharing history and cultural stories.

“Our Council wants Hamilton to continue to be a fun and attractive city, a place where people thrive and where diverse cultures are showcased and celebrated,” she said.

“I love public art and I think most people would acknowledge art makes a city more attractive and more interesting.

“There is no reason why we can’t work with the community to transform places of functionality into places that inspire people so, yes, I’m really thrilled with this mural.”

Once the design was selected, artist Gemma Yiannoutsos worked with local iwi to finalise the design, saying it was a real privilege being able to access such a depth of knowledge in Te Ao Maaori.

“We were able to respond and adapt the design in a sincere and appropriate way, depicting both the contemporary and historical significance of the site,” said Ms Yiannoutsos.

More than 60 cans of spray paint were used in the 90-metre-long mural which was completed as part of the $5 million upgrade of the Hillsborough Wastewater Pump Station on Grantham Street.

The complex upgrade has increased the size and capacity of the pump station, allowing for future growth and protecting the awa.

Located just south of the Victoria Bridge, the Hillsborough Pump Station pumps wastewater from the south-eastern side of the city across the underside of the bridge and to the main wastewater line on the eastern side of the Waikato River.

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