Mel was one of 10 New Zealand artists who won the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Mural Competition 2023.
The large 36 square metre mural, painted on the exterior of the Dudley Park Toilet block, is designed to help raise awareness of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and the challenges facing it.
‘‘This mural is a peaceful portrait of our native New Zealand wetland duck, the whio and our connection to the waterways we share,’’ says Mel.
‘‘Floating With Whio is inspired by flowing water and our native blue ko whio ducks.
‘‘This mural has really livened up this area in Dudley Park, Rangiora, and makes the skate park, courts and greenspace an even more fun place for our local families to visit.’’
The Resene Nature Mural Competition is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme and ran from April to June 2023.
Community members were asked to submit environmentally-themed mural designs to paint on a wall in their local community.
Artists from around New Zealand sent in their designs, with the top 10 murals selected in June based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, and originality/ creativity.
The winners have been given up to 12 months to bring their mural to life.
The winning artists receive a $1000 commission on completion of their mural, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson says the Resene Nature Mural Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities.
‘‘The beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride, deterring vandalism, and reducing anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti,” she says.
‘‘We were impressed with the dozens of high-calibre entries we received, so much so that narrowing the selection to just ten winners was a tough task.
‘‘Mel’s mural is one of the first of the 2023 murals to be fully completed.
‘We are thrilled to see the result, and we are excited to watch the other talented winning artists bring their murals to life around Aotearoa.’’
By Shelley Topp