Night market used to launch Porirua’s latest mural by local artists
Porirua’s new mural stole the show during the official opening at yesterday’s night market in Porirua’s CBD.
This month’s Porirua Night Market was all about the new mural and celebrating it as a city.
Porirua artists Chloe Reweti and Ruth Robertson-Taylor used some of Porirua most iconic places and people in the artwork.
They included patterns and iconic places such as the duck pond, wakas and fales to represent the diverse culture in Porirua and also their connection to Ngāti Toa.
Ideas from the famous choreographer Neil Ieremia’s Black Grace and designs inspired by the kindergarten children were also displayed on the black canvas.
The artists say the mural was made to celebrate Porirua’s 50th anniversary using stories from the community and kindergartens.
“We got given a whole lot of little stories and some of them we kind of collected before we started the process,” says Mrs Robertson-Taylor.
“Others got added later on during the consultation with Waitangirua and Papakowhai kindergarten.”
Printmaker Robertson-Taylor says the project was offered to them by the city centre working group Placemaking Porirua, who partnered with Porirua City Council to gather submissions on the mural.
“There was a submission process that was open to everyone to enter and we were the ones that were chosen,” says Miss Reweti.
“It was a project managed by Placemaking Porirua. They were helping do all the revitalisation around here.”
The pair say they had a really tough time trying to fit everything into the mural that would represent the city well.
Several people spoke to them as they worked, sharing stories about their city which made it much more difficult to capture the city’s personality, according to the artists.
“There could be a lot of things you could have put in but you just have to stop somewhere,” says Mrs Robertson-Taylor.
“Not everything could be included so we had to be selective about the process.
“So it came down to sort of picking something from each category of culture, architecture, environment and people,” says Miss Reweti.
Both artists have also been very pleased by the amount of feedback so far from the public.
“There’s been very little at all that’s been very negative,” says Miss Reweti.
“When you public art everybody’s allowed an opinion,” says Mrs Robertson-Taylor.
The mural received a mix of reactions from the public during the night market last night.
Engineer Glen Brumby says the mural is simple but still well done.
“It looks very cool, it’s simple and clean.”
Clinical Psychologist Katie Ryan says she likes how the mural tied everything about Porirua together.
“I like how it catches a lot of aspects but then kind of unifying the theme with the colours and style of it,” she says.
Marketing manager Rahael says the mural gives really good visuals but does not think it represents how the community looks now.
“It’s kind of hard to say that it reflects accurately how the community currently looks like,” she says.
Tertiary teacher Samantha Tamanui says the mural is unique compared to others she’s seen.
“Everything is equally spaced unlike some other murals’ I’ve seen where things are kind of blended in,” she says.
Both artists say they are happy with how the mural turned out in the end and are glad they will get to see it quite often.
“It’s nice because we both live here and so we will get to see it quite a lot,” says Miss Reweti.
The night market also had other activities on such as a kids colouring booth, quizzes, chalk to recreate the works on the sidewalk next to the mural, duct tape art, a gardening booth, entertainment and a variety of food trucks from Wellington food truck collective.
The night markets are held every last Thursday of every month in the Porirua CBD as part of the council’s wider plan to develop a high quality market model for central city.
General manager city growth and partnerships Bryan Patchett says the council is looking for the right operator to help monitor and continue this successful event.
“The ideal operator will be able to attract a diverse range of stalls, and coordinate stall holders, entertainment and the promotion of the overall event, while also ensuring health and safety, and quality requirements are satisfied.”
“The operator will need a strong track record in running a similar operation and will have the contacts and vision to ensure that the market is successful in the longer term,” says Mr Patchett.
He says the Pop-up Porirua, monthly Night markets and Christmas in Cobham Court are examples of the recent successful inner-city initiatives.
“We’ve had a number of requests from the community for a weekend market in the city centre. We’re looking for someone with a vision for Porirua’s city centre, who can commit to a period of at least three years, with an option to extend for a further two years.”