GOLOCAL

The small seaside town of Mangonui will be given a shark painting as a giant thanks for harbouring two mural artists during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Bobby MacDonald and Amiria Puia-Taylor, business partners and artists at Ngā Atua Hou - a revitalisation mural project based in Auckland - decided to anchor themselves in the Far North for the weeks following March 25.

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Puia-Taylor's aunty lives in Mangonui and MacDonald, who hails from Whirinaki in the Hokianga - decided to join her.

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"We ended up staying in Mangonui for seven or eight weeks," MacDonald said.

"The whole time we've been there it's been amazing, it's an ideal place to spend a time like that.

"It was beautiful. The mural was our way of giving back to the community, saying thank you for having us."

Puia-Taylor and MacDonald published a post on social media asking if a local artist wanted to work with them on the project.

Budding artist Miriama Soutar, 16, answered the call, and will join them on Queens Birthday weekend, when the mural is due to be completed.

The public were asked to vote on three options; a fisherman, the shark or landscape scenery of the town. The shark won with 350 votes for being "big, bold and bright".

Bobby MacDonald, local artist Miriama Soutar and Amiria Puia-Taylor stand in front of the building which will be painted with a colourful mural. Photo / supplied
Bobby MacDonald, local artist Miriama Soutar and Amiria Puia-Taylor stand in front of the building which will be painted with a colourful mural. Photo / supplied

According to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage website, New Zealand History, Mangonui is Māori for "great or big shark". Mango means shark and nui is large or many.

Once that was decided, Puia-Taylor and MacDonald got permission from the local mechanic – Wiltons Garage & Marine - whose wall will be painted.

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Rowan Wilson, from the garage, said it was a great idea. "We're wholly supportive of it."

The artists also sought advice from the community to develop the concept to the final stage.

"We also did a call-out to local iwi and hapū and talked to kaumātua and kuia and knowledge holders to share their story of Mangonui," MacDonald said.

"It's about telling stories, especially in local communities. If other artists from different towns come in, they need to learn the history before they start putting up murals.

"We've had nothing but positive feedback from the community."

Watch this space! This building in Mangonui will be painted with a colourful mural on Queen's birthday weekend. Photo / supplied
Watch this space! This building in Mangonui will be painted with a colourful mural on Queen's birthday weekend. Photo / supplied

The wall was prepped with white primer on May 15.

Waterfront Cafe & Bar owner Gerry Corden welcomed the shark mural.

"It'll look absolutely fabulous and will brighten up our little town," she said.

"They're lovely people as well."