24m-high mural for central city hotel

The wall on the Kelvin Hotel where a 24m mural will be revealed in January. Photo: Logan Savory
The wall on the Kelvin Hotel where a 24m mural will be revealed in January. Photo: Logan Savory
The Invercargill Licensing Trust will unveil a mural in January which it believes will provide the city with one of the tallest street murals in New Zealand.

Danny Owens
Danny Owens
The ILT announced yesterday that it had commissioned street artist Danny (Deow) Owens to create a 24m-high mural at the Kelvin Hotel on the corner of Esk and Kelvin Sts.

Work is expected to be completed next week before contractors remove the scaffolding on January 21.

The mural has been painted on the south wall, facing towards Tay St.

After a stint living in California, Mr Owens has returned to Southland and said he was excited about the new feature on Invercargill's cityscape.

Last year he created a mural on the side of Invercargill's Scottish Hall and had also played a lead role in Riverton's recent street art makeover.

"Southland's home and Invercargill's home so there is a sense of pride in leaving my mark in this way. It's a painting of some significance and that's really special," he said.

The image of 2-year-old Mia Judson features significantly in the mural.

Mia, whose Southland parents are of Japanese and Filipino descent, provided the inspiration, Mr Owens said.

"The whole concept is around the changing face of Invercargill and how the city continues to diversify. Mia is super cute and full of beans, so she was the ideal model," he said.

ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay said repainting external walls at the Kelvin Hotel presented a unique opportunity for Mr Owens to unleash his magic with paint.

"Our board saw this as a chance to add to the vibrancy of our city, particularly at a time when the CBD is going to be undergoing such significant change," he said.

Mr Ramsay said it was important to support the Southland arts sector by engaging a local artist to carry out the work.

The feature artwork completes the latest phase of renovations at the Kelvin, including the exterior painting of the whole building and installing larger windows in the function area on the sixth floor.

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