Street artist 'humbled' by commission to honour Hotere

A draft of what Tyler Kennedy Stent’s latest mural, of Ralph Hotere, might look like. Photo: Supplied
A draft of what Tyler Kennedy Stent’s latest mural, of Ralph Hotere, might look like. Photo: Supplied
A Dunedin street artist known for his mural of Ed Sheeran has been chosen to paint a mural of one of Dunedin's most well-known figures.

Tyler Kennedy Stent has been handpicked by the Dunedin Street Art Trust to paint Dunedin's next mural, of prominent artist Ralph Hotere.

''It's pretty humbling, to be honest. I knew who he was and what his art looked like, but I had no idea just how much of a role model he was,'' Kennedy Stent said.

Hotere, who died in 2013 at the age of 81, was a sculptor, painter and contemporary artist well known for his deep connection with Port Chalmers.

The Carroll St mural will be based on a photo of Hotere taken by Marti Friedlander and will incorporate styles from other parts of the artist's career, including a tribute to his work Aramoana.

Kennedy Stent shot to fame over Easter for painting a mural of Ed Sheeran to celebrate the pop star's three shows in Dunedin.

He said the look and feel of the mural would be very different from the Ed Sheeran work.

''The Ed Sheeran was kind of just fun art; it was chucking nice colours up and making things look exciting, but with this I want to pack in as much meaning and draw from Hotere's work and use his style and infuse it into my own.

''It's going to be much more of a serious approach. I'm going to be using a monotone colour base and it won't be as bright as most of my earlier work,'' he said.

He wanted to pay tribute to Hotere and the wider Dunedin community and would use similar design elements such as hints of corrugated iron on the pillars.

He would also incorporate the number 23 to reference the date of Hotere's brother's death.

''The fact that the mural is being painted in Dunedin is really important because it connects the meaning of the mural back to the city, which I think is really significant.''

Once consent was granted for the piece, he would start work.

-By Eddy Bramley

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