Dunedin artist Jemima Pedro reflects on the exuberant
public art, including these flying pigs, of the late Broad
Bay artist John Noakes. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Bus shelters painted by the late John Noakes are not only
popular with Dunedin residents they are also attracting plenty
of favourable comment from tourists, Dunedin artist Jemima
English-born Mrs Pedro has learned quite a bit about Noakes
bus shelters - she has already worked on six of them, mainly
restoring their murals, through a civic improvement project
funded by the Keep Dunedin Beautiful Committee. Dunedin
people identified closely with their neighbourhood bus
shelters and those featuring murals by Mr Noakes, a former
Broad Bay artist, were viewed as ''very special''.
She has recently been hard at work repainting art by Mr
Noakes at a seventh shelter at Oyster Bay, near Portobello,
on the Otago Peninsula.
''It's quite an honour to be able to preserve it.
''It's accessible art and I think art should be accessible.
''It's wonderful to be involved with the project.
Mr Noakes spent 15 years painting murals on 65 bus shelters
around Dunedin. Mrs Pedro said his murals were often
exuberant and ''fun'' and reflected a quirky sense of humour.
And they gave people something to smile about -including,
sometimes, a few flying pigs- as they waited for their bus.
She never met Mr Noakes but had come to ''nearly regard him
as a friend''.
She had learned about him through working closely with his
art, and residents who had known him also stopped to share
Visiting tourists took a close interest in her restoration
work and the murals.
''Lots of people stop and take photographs.''
Both locals and travellers ''hugely valued'' the art Mr
Noakes had created.
Having good quality public art on display boosted community
morale and made the city feel like a ''wealthy and cared
''I think that John has started something rather magical.''
The first bus shelter Mr Noakes painted was at Company Bay in
Dunedin artist Daniel Mead last year painted a portrait of
him on one wall of that shelter, in his honour.