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Porirua station artwork inspires Pataka exhibition

Jul 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

AN initiative to get graffiti off Porirua streets has inspired an art exhibition at Pataka.

The $1.2 million project that transformed Porirua Railway Station with 11 murals involved 11 artists, including Rudy Whitehead-Lopez and Ranga Tuhi.

“It was really great to get together again,” says Rudy, pictured right, programme manager for visual arts and design at Whitireia Polytechnic who was part of the project in March.

Rudy worked with artist Hideaki Katsumata on the mural Awarua, with help from his 11-year-old son, Ben.

“He’s constantly in my work,” says Rudy, who finds Ben an inspiration in his art.

“The world is new to kids. [It’s about] trying to get people to see with new eyes.”

He lectures in drawing, painting, contextual studies and art history at Whitireia, runs the photography school and is working on a design programme in Auckland.

The evenings he spends working on his second novel while also making time for his family.

“I don’t sleep much,” he says.

Local artist, Ranga Tuhi, pictured left, was also a muralist for the Porirua upgrade and is working on two pencil drawings of humpback whales for the exhibition, Off The Wall, opening July 28 at the Porirua museum of arts and cultures.

Mr Tuhi is a graduate from Massey University who specialises in sculpture, painting and graphic design, and draws inspiration from the harbour and marine life he grew up around.

“My family own a bach in the Hauraki Gulf, we have a fishing boat and we go fishing,” he says.

A great carver, Mr Tuhi also makes his own frames for his work (pictured above) and will have carved the frame for his whale artwork before the exhibit.

Mr Tuhi was the project manager for the Porirua station upgrade and is pleased that Porirua has benefitted from the work they have done.

“The ultimate goal was to beautify Porirua, but to make it a better community.

“It’s about enjoying where you live.”


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