Youngsters help complete mural to celebrate Matariki

The stars and the Maori culture were the inspiration for a group of Invercargill residents who painted a mural to be exhibited during the Matariki celebrations.

Local artist Steve Chernishov hosted a workshop yesterday at the Invercargill Public Library to create a UV mural for this year’s Matariki Light Festival.

Mr Chernishov said the event started with a discussion about the meaning of Matariki and from there, children chose key words which they thought were connected with the Maori culture.

Quenton Nankivell (left) took his daughters, Wikitori (10) and Mihiana (7), to help local artist...
Quenton Nankivell (left) took his daughters, Wikitori (10) and Mihiana (7), to help local artist Steve Chernishov create a Matariki-inspired mural. PHOTOS: LUISA GIRAO
"It is a combination of art therapy and explaining what the Matariki — the Maori New Year — is all about," he said.

Max Brown (5), Levy Harrison (5) and Maggie Brown (3) were hands-on painting the mural.
Max Brown (5), Levy Harrison (5) and Maggie Brown (3) were hands-on painting the mural.
Invercargill children had fun and created an abstract piece which would be finalised by Mr Chernishov and then exhibited at the event which runs from July 2 to 6 at Queens Park.

Mihiana Nankivell, of Invercargill, said she was excited to see the completed mural.

"I’m feeling happy and I will feel very proud when all the community sees the work we’ve done."

Her father Quenton Nankivell said it was important for children to learn about their background and the Maori culture.

"It is important they know where they came from and for them to feel connected with their background."

The Maori New Year is marked by the reappearance of a cluster of stars known as Matariki, or Pleiades, in the winter sky before dawn.

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