New Zealand's largest rural art collection that tells the stories of provincial communities has a giant new painting.

Award-winning artist Erika Pearce completed her striking mural on the side of Tauranga's Farmlands store on Taurikura Drive off State Highway 36.

Pearce started work on April 28 and managed to finish by her May 4 deadline, despite the project being rained off earlier in the week.

The finished product is an impressive 23 metres long.


Erika Pearce is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer whose award-winning artwork features in collections around the world.

The public artwork is 23 metres long. Photo / Supplied
The public artwork is 23 metres long. Photo / Supplied

Her work typically reflects her passion for community, culture, and the role and contribution of women and the natural world.

This new work is a culmination of extensive research, community involvement and guidance and Pearce took inspiration from Tauranga's rich history of horticulture.

"I was super excited to be invited to take part in this awesome project. I am really keen on the idea that I should 'give back' through my work and I love that I am getting the chance to engage with the Tauranga community," said Pearce.

"My dad grew up on a dairy farm in Taranaki and I had a lot of cousins who also lived on farms. As a kid born and raised in Auckland, I count myself really lucky to have been able to stay with them and get first-hand experience of farm life.

"To tell the truth, I've never felt like a city kid. I've always felt a strong connection with the people who work with the land.

The mural took a week to complete. Photo / Supplied
The mural took a week to complete. Photo / Supplied

"It's clear to me that New Zealand is what it is today thanks to the belief and toil of a lot of hard-working folks living in rural communities," Pearce said.

"I think as time goes on, we are all looking for better, sustainable ways of living and connecting with our environment. That's where Farmlands has pitched its tent, so I'm proud to be associated with them on this project, too."

Over the past two years Farmlands has transformed some of its key properties around the country into living works of art, through its HeART of The Community project.

So far the rural supplies co-operative has commissioned nine enormous murals in rural New Zealand towns.

Artist Erika Pearce at work. Photo / Supplied
Artist Erika Pearce at work. Photo / Supplied

Each artwork depicts aspects of rural New Zealand and captures the local community's spirit, history and environment.

Last month Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said he was eagerly anticipating the finished result.

"It's wonderful that Farmlands has chosen Tauranga for its next HeART of The Community project. I'm looking forward to seeing how Erika Pearce reflects Tauranga's long history of agriculture and horticulture in her mural. And I'm certain she'll have a big gallery of locals watching her as she works throughout the week."