Walking his way to art

Paris artist elparo  is ready to start his Dunedin Fringe Festival performance elparo emerges...
Paris artist elparo is ready to start his Dunedin Fringe Festival performance elparo emerges today. Photo by Gregor Richardson.

A stroll the length of New Zealand has given a French artist the time to think about his Dunedin Fringe Festival performance.

Graffiti artist elparo, of Paris, will start his visual art performance elparo emerges today by painting a Rattray St wall.

"I can do whatever I want - it's quite nice,'' he said, making a coffee in the Fringe Club kitchen yesterday.

For the past four months, elparo has been walking Te Araroa, the trail stretching from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

He came up with the idea of traversing the length of New Zealand on foot when taking a busy Paris train to his work, craving nature and needing an ambitious goal.

"I know when I have a goal that is far, far away, I feel free.''

On the trail, he slept in a hammock in the North Island and slept mostly in huts in the South Island.

However, on 15 occasions, he accepted strangers' offers to stay at their houses.

"It made the difference because it was not only the scenery I wanted to see in New Zealand, it was the people, and I had the time to share a moment with these Kiwis, which was very, very good.''

On the trail, he made a rough sketch of the art he would begin painting in Dunedin today.

The style was similar to other graffiti he had created in France, many gracing the walls of abandoned factories.

"They are a playground for graffiti artists; you go there and spend three days painting a big mural with friends and have a barbecue and some beers.''

The design for the Dunedin work would depend on how he felt for the next four days, he said.

The only guaranteed design feature was lettering, which would not form a word.

"It will be abstract, so it doesn't look like a proper word; it looks more like a form or shape; this is the way of graffiti ... I really like modern art and cubism art and I work on the line, the curve and the colours.''

● The visual art performance elparo emerges is on at 167 Rattray St between 10am and 4pm today, tomorrow and Saturday.

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