Group Happenings…

Our mural group started with five members. On the second day there were only four, and now we are down to three. With the people issues, and because I am doubled up class wise on Mondays, it hasn’t been an easy project at all. But we have worked on and I have grown some spectacular bags under my eyes by staying up until the wee hours everyday. It feels that we finally have gotten somewhere in the last two days.

The wall was chosen before I joined, but it’s a good wall, and thankfully, given the shortage of people and time, it is small and manageable. We looked at the features and the surroundings and then measured and photographed the wall, and brainstormed some ideas.


We all agreed on giving another perspective to the  pedestrians walking towards this wall, and because of the cracks in the wall itself we thought about a hole, with another world beyond. This will hopefully change the visual, and mental perception of the viewer. This shows there are other possibilities, changes to be made, and beauty to be experienced for free.

We liked the idea of two ordinary workmen breaking through the wall, and leading the pedestrian into another view. Having one of the workmen step out of the scene helps to bring the viewer towards it. Roxy drew the workmen and then we chose to make them in a black and white stencil effect. so as not to detract from the view beyond the wall. Also we wanted to show that ordinary people, especially workmen who are often the target of a grumbling public, can change the city, as much as a council official can.

The scene beyond the wall is another part of our concept, that of bringing the outside in, the mountains and hills around our city and the gorgeous South Island rivers. It is a celebration of the beauty of New Zealand and the fact that we are never too far from that beauty, even in an urban area. The scene appears to flow out from the hole in the wall at the bottom, because that is how nature is. Nature wants to grow and flourish, and sometimes it is hard to stop it. This is highlighted by the tiny pink flower that we found growing out of the wall. The flower was actually a big part of our inspiration.

Having a katare, (New Zealand native kingfisher), as part of the mural was Adri’s wonderful inspiration. When we were playing with it in Photoshop I liked the idea of it appearing to be flying out of the view beyond the wall and into Hardy Street. This adds to the three dimensional effect. And yes… it is larger than life, because nature is larger than life and bigger than us!

I took the drawings of the scene and the workmen and played around with them on a photo of the wall that I took recently. We had to make a decision today, as much time has been wasted and we only have a week left. So, this is what we have decided on…

Drum roll please…


I had the idea of adding fragments of broken mirror to the water flowing in the river to give the mural some movement and life. The mirrors will catch the light and give a moving water effect, but this is hard to illustrate in Photoshop. I did make a mirror fragment brush but I had to leave the Mac lab quickly because of a class, so I may try and get it and experiment on Thursday if I have time.

I did half of the PowerPoint last night, and this evening I did costings. I am now looking at theorists, and urban art. Jemarve has been looking at some other mural artists, apart from Banksy, who inspired the stenciled figures. We are meeting later in the week to put our group proposal together and to finalise the PowerPoint. Jemarve is doing his part of the PowerPoint this evening, and he has made a fantastic three dimensional model of our building in Google Sketch.

So, now for all the other bits… and hopefully we will be all ready by Tuesday to do our presentation. Group work is so challenging. The worst part is that everything seems to take ten times longer, and there seems to be a lot more work than if you were working alone. It has been a valuable learning experience though. I think the most important lessons I have learned, are to get ideas thrashed out very early on in the process and to ensure that everyone knows their task. Having said that, I still think we did very well in the circumstances, and everyone pulled their weight.

Photographs and Photoshopping by Bobby. Drawings of workmen, and scene beyond the wall by Roxy.