Giving colour to cyberspace

By Lindy Laird

3 comments
STREET SCENE: Jo Thomas was interviewed about her art work by Channel North in front of the broadband services cabinet she painted in Paramount Pde, Tikipunga. PHOTO/JOHN STONE
STREET SCENE: Jo Thomas was interviewed about her art work by Channel North in front of the broadband services cabinet she painted in Paramount Pde, Tikipunga. PHOTO/JOHN STONE

Broadband service boxes squatting like ugly metal trolls on streets around Whangarei have been transformed into urban art pieces.

The Chorus cabinets turned into murals by local artists attracted much interest as they were being worked on - a far cry from the graffiti they are often targets for.

They were officially "opened" for their very public exhibition last Saturday, the reveal taking the form of an interview of each artist at their particular site by a Channel North film crew.

Project coordinator for Chorus and the Cultural Heritage Art Resource Trust (Chart), Megan Bowers Vette, said there had been a very positive response from the community.

People in nearby houses brought the artists cold drinks and sandwiches as they worked, and passers-by would stop for a yarn or call encouragement.

Jamal Peeni, who painted a tiki motif on the Kahiwi St cabinet in Raumanga, had fascinated neighbourhood children, who watched him for hours at a time.

Local artists were invited to submit designs, and a team from Chorus decided which ones would go public.

Each selected design earned the artist between $750 and $1500, depending on the size of the cabinet.

The works had to be based on local themes, although that was open to broad interpretation, Ms Bowers Vette said.

The artists were Pauline Gough (the Ngahere Drive cabinet); Chloe and Killarney (Otaika Rd), Jamal Peeni (Kahiwi St), Lenny Murupaenga (Smeaton Drive), Nathan Beauker (Commerce St), Anneke Muijlwijk (Kiripaka Rd), Marino Duke (Spedding Rd), Jo Thomas (Paramount Pde), Sarah Adam (Ridgeway Drive), Akuhata Hita (Vinegar Hill) and Axelle Faur (Kiripaka Rd).

- Northern Advocate

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