Mr G flooded with mural requests after TV appearance

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Mr G painting a portrait of respected elder Tarere Wai O Rangi McMillan on the highest peak of Matakana Island. Photo/Melissa Hoete
Mr G painting a portrait of respected elder Tarere Wai O Rangi McMillan on the highest peak of Matakana Island. Photo/Melissa Hoete

Mural artist Mr G has been inundated with requests to paint murals telling the stories of the people and places of New Zealand.

Graham "Mr G" Hoete has returned to Tauranga to embark on a new art project - painting 100 New Zealand portraits for a book.

From the tip of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island, Mr G planned to travel to paint portraits in "picturesque, stunning" rural areas to tell the story of people and places.

He appeared on Seven Sharp last night after being filmed in Kawerau painting mural number four from a picture of a local man well known in the town.

Since the appearance, Mr G's Facebook page has been flooded with requests for murals on buildings and structures around the country.

Mr G spent Labour Weekend on Matakana Island, where his mother was from, painting the first three portraits on a water tank, an old homestead and a stranded ammunition barge.

"The three portraits on Matakana were people connected to the island because they were from there," he said.

His cousins living on the island and cousin James Rolleston helped set up the trip.

He put the call out on his social media page for people to send in locations for him to paint portraits of people connected to the land.

The criteria were threefold: a beautiful location, good quality photo of the subject of the portrait and a great story to go along with how the person was connected to the land.

"The buildings I want to paint on are old abandoned homesteads, old cowsheds, milking sheds or water tanks - places with a rural feel - and transforming these obscure locations into a setting for amazing art pieces and photos."

Over the next three to four years, Mr G would spend time doing portraits - for free - and already had some "goodies" set up in Darfield, Tokomaru Bay and Manawatu.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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