Window murals transform street

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Wanaka’s Helwick St was transformed by a series of colourful window murals during the Festival of Colour by Mount Aspiring College year 7 and 8 pupils under the guidance of artist Michel Tuffery.

Shop windows along the street were given a colourful makeover using liquid chalk markers.

Before starting the murals the pupils took part in a workshop to get used to the markers.

‘‘They went through this beautiful exercise learning how to use the markers, and various ways of creating their fonts,’’ Tuffery said.

Pupils then were guided to use their creativity to create simple but evocative shapes in the glass.

The murals featured a series of haiku or short-form poetry developed at a workshop at Mount Aspiring College run by poet Selina Tusitala Marsh.

Tuffery then helped pupils incorporate the haiku into the store front murals.

The kaupapa or principle behind the temporary murals was wai (water), Tuffery said.

The murals were like a ‘‘colouring-in book’’ with the basic structure of wai running along the street.

Public interaction was part of the exercise, as people stopped to witness the transformation as the pupils moved along the street, Tuffery said.

‘‘The beautiful part which I really loved was them bringing their grandparents and their parents.’’

There was good interaction between the public and businesses along the street which allowed the murals to be drawn on their windows.

Over three days the pupils developed confidence in their skills, Tuffery said.

‘‘It is all about using your whole body to make those marks, and then stepping back and seeing what it looks like from a distance.’’

The temporary nature of the windows was part of the exercise, Tuffery said.

Some of the businesses did not want the murals washed away afterwards.

‘‘I said ‘we have to take it off because it is a moment, and it is to remember a moment’.’’

Glass act . . . Artist Michel Tuffery, of Wellington, admires the results of his collaboration with local pupils to transform windows in Helwick St. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON23

Festival of Colour director Philip Tremewan said organisers had noticed a change in the demographic of festival attendees this year.

In previous years audiences had bought tickets in advance, but this year some had held off until later, which had resulted in the festival being able to cater to those who liked to buy tickets at the last minute.

‘‘This is resulting in us seeing a lot more younger people in the audience, which we’re loving,’’ he said.

‘‘For a number of years we have been working to broaden the audience and we’re delighted this year to have younger people engaged with the festival and really feel we are a festival for babies to baby boomers and beyond.’’

Mr Tremewan said the festival was unable to bring in any international acts but was able to bring four expatriate New Zealanders.

Thom Monckton, based in Helsinki, Ro Bright and Kitan Petkovski, based in Melbourne, and Dr Mel Bunce, based in London, were able to take part after completing managed isolation and quarantine.

Glass act . . . Artist Michel Tuffery, of Wellington, admires the results of his collaboration with local pupils to transform windows in Helwick St. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON

 

Power of the pen . . Mount Aspiring College year 7 and 8 pupils point to the lake with artist Michel Tuffery, of Wellington, after transforming windows all along Helwick St. PHOTO: SALLY WOODFIELD

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