Christchurch Scoop

A Pop Of Colour In The Central City: New Mural Completed By Christchurch Youth And Flox

Press Release – YMCA Christchurch

Just before Christmas ten young artists had the opportunity to work alongside renowned New Zealand artist Hayley King (Flox) to design and paint a large-scale mural in Christchurch’s central city.

The group of young people were selected from schools throughout Christchurch to participate in the programme which was run by the YMCA Christchurch.

King flew down to facilitate the programme and oversee the painting of the mural she designed.

“What a privilige it has been to be down here working with these kids and really seeing something positive and creative for the city of Christchurch.”

The group spent two days under Flox’s artistic wing in a hands-on workshop where they learnt how to design large scale murals and a range of spray painting techniques. They then took their skills outside to work on the mural.

“The programme saw the kids going through the drawing phase right through to painting and execution.”

YMCA CEO Josie Ogden-Schroeder says it was important to the organization that the programme included young people in the whole process.

“We wanted to beautify our hoardings but we also knew this was an opportunity to do something a bit different. Being able to facilitate the upskilling of young artists alongside Hayley and then have them paint our mural has been amazing.”

The YMCA Christchurch has a legacy of supporting young people in the arts and runs a variety of programmes and services that celebrate the creative and performing arts for communities in Christchurch.

“This is a huge part of what we do – encouraging and celebrating the creativity of our young people.”

Facing the Botanic Gardens along Rolleston Ave, the completed mural is a welcome pop of colour. It spans the length of the YMCA’s building site hoarding, about 40 metres.

The mural will remain in place for the duration of the build which is set to be completed in mid-2023. At this stage the mural will then be carefully dismantled and given a new home.

The programme was partially funded by the Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Spaces Fund which aims to bring more art to the public through the activation of vacant or transtional spaces. By tapping into this fund the YMCA Christchurch were able to bring their idea to life.

Street art in the city became especially prominent after the 2011 earthquakes when the demolition of many earthquake damaged buildings left Christchurch with a mass of empty spaces and blank walls. Since then, street art has become a vital part of Christchurch’s identity, even winning the city a ranking as one of the street art capitals of the world in Lonely Planet’s 2017 book, alongside cities such as New York, Barcelona and Berlin.

These young people are now preparing to step into the shoes of the artists before them and continue Ōtautahi’s street art legacy.

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