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Street art with French flair promotes city centre of excellence

Oct 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

INTERNATIONAL urban street art has dressed up the centre of Lower Hutt this week, and it is all part of a grand design.

‘Living Walls’ is the brainchild of French artist Olivier Tenedor, who set up three-dimensional boxes ready to be painted by anyone and everyone in the community.

Tenedor (right) is a French street artist whose recent work in Buenos Aires, where he transformed an entire street with his urban art, gained international acclaim.

Locals were encouraged to come along and take part in creating a unique piece of community work with the artist, and to enjoy the space Dowse Square has to offer.

The Hutt City Council aims to make Dowse Square a destination for community involvement.

The creative event in the newly refurbished civic square on Saturday will be a springboard to bigger and better events at the venue, says council officer Matt Reid.

The council community services general manager personally contacted Tenedor after hearing about his work, and asked him to bring his talent and flair to Lower Hutt and help get the community involved in a group project.

“We wanted everyone to be able to take part in the event,” says Mr Reid.

“These kinds of events create a bit of fun, a bit of atmosphere across the city and it is a great opportunity to get talented artists, along with everyone from young kids to grandparents, out and about to show them off.”

Mr Reid says that his community services team aims to make a difference to the wellbeing of the people in the city.

“We want to make a positive difference to people’s social wellbeing, and potentially economic wellbeing, across the city,” says Mr Reid.

“The Dowse Square is a space where people can just go along and relax. It has been designed to be an everyday venue, so the more use out of it, the better.”

Tenedor say he has found New Zealand to be an amazingly diverse country, and being able to share his art with an active community like Lower Hutt is the kind of work he enjoys the most.

“I propose to people an experience of art based on the joy, the pleasure of creating and sharing a collective moment.

“Painting in the street is a beautiful experience.

“‘Living Walls’ is a step toward artwork as a form of communication. I want people to be actors in my work, not simply spectators,” says Tenedor.

Mr Reid says that the Hutt City Council wants to lift the standards around the Hutt in terms of community life and involvement.

“There are pockets of excellence in the Hutt, like The Dowse, and we want to grow that. We want more pockets of excellence.”

The art work created on Saturday is a temporary instalment, however Mr Reid says the council will be able to place it in different parts of the Hutt Valley for more people to enjoy in future.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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