Celebrated for his colourful giant murals dotted around Whanganui, artist Dan Mills has turned to canvas for an artwork with special significance.

Mills' striking depiction of the Whanganui River as a white ribbon flowing through the region reflects his support for the White Ribbon campaign to end domestic violence.

The artwork was painted on November 23 - White Ribbon Day – when Mills set up his canvas in the Whanganui Hospital foyer and got to work.

And the piece will be officially unveiled in a ceremony on May 17, when it will take pride of place in the hospital's main entrance corridor.

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Mills, who has donated the painting to the hospital, will attend - along with Whanganui District Health Board members and hospital staff – when it is blessed by kaumātua.

The artist's connection to the White Ribbon campaign came about by chance when he was living in the Far North and doing painting work for a trust in Ruakaka.

"As payment, they offered me a van – a Toyota – which had the White Ribbon logo over it as that was something the trust was involved in."

It was a pretty good van, Mills said, and he got involved with the campaign, handing out fliers and giving out contact numbers and advice.

"I developed a great respect for the White Ribbon cause and the people who work for it."

Fortunately for Whanganui, the van lasted long enough to help move Mills down to the River City.

* For more on the White Ribbon campaign, go to -- https://whiteribbon.org.nz/