Murals For Masterton
In October 2022, we commissioned four murals by leading contemporary artists on Trust-owned buildings in Masterton’s CBD with the aim of bringing Masterton’s CBD to life with colourful, thought-provoking art, accessible to all.
Each of the artists submitted a concept to our arts committee based on Wairarapa’s geographical references – its five rivers, the Tararua Ranges and native flora and fauna.
Inspired by the wonderful Wairarapa rivers and the moments we spend at them this mural captures children participating in a game of skimming stones, an absolute automatic reaction that hits us all when down at the river side. We do not see their faces, identity is not given - leaving the viewer to create their own memory. Earthy tones combine with cultural earthy reds which blend in with the architecture around the wall.
Zoe and Pip (Pippa Keel and Zoe Gillett) were immediately drawn to Wairarapa’s five rivers, home to NZ’s endemic Longfin eels. Water and flow became the basis for their mural concept - the waters of each river weaving together. Within these flowing waters, Zoe and Pip highlight some of the native species that call the rivers and surrounding estuaries home. Snippets of endemic Sea Primrose and other native aquatic plants sit at the water’s edge, drawing the viewer in.
Sean chose the Ruru (Morepork) as the centre piece for his mural. He says they’re just the best birds that cruise around the Wairarapa. The Ruru is adorned with native plants which are used in traditional Māori medicine and these grow around the region too. The orangey brown wood-like surround gives the sense of a living frame where plants weave in and out creating depth.
The Huia – last sighted in the Wairarapa region dominates the left of the artwork facing the beloved North Island Kōkako on the right. This artwork pays homage to what we once had in the form of our Huia, while paying respect to the success story of the now thriving North Island Kōkako, thanks to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce. The brightly blue coloured manu is surrounded in native Karo flowers, leaves and fruit, a favourite food source for the Kōkako. In Māori myth, the Kōkako...