Here are some before shots, progress shots, and a photo showing them in relation to each other. Here’s a brief writeup on the finished walls…
In Māori mythology, Tāne is the god of forests and birds (and humans!). In this piece I tried to show the range of his domain by showcasing some of the flora and fauna that we have here in Aotearoa; landscapes that range from subtropical beaches, to huge stands of untouched podocarps, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains. I also included some hibiscus flowers – technically not a native plant, but the school is predominantly Pacific Islander, and the hibiscus is a powerful symbol amongst those communities. (Being the child of immigrants myself, I also like to acknowledge the changing face of our environment!)
The wildlife includes (L-R) a gecko, a fantail (pīwakawaka), a kiwi, a weta (and a huhu grub hiding below him), an eel, and the majestic – but unfortunately endangered – white heron (kōtuku).
Tangaroa is the god of the sea, and is the estranged brother of Tāne. They don’t get along – which is clear when you see waves attacking the coast! – so if humans ever leave our domain and head into the realm of Tangaroa, we must pay him the respect he deserves.
Personally I love snorkelling and spearfishing, and enjoy getting into the ocean around the North Island as much as I can- and, of course, I love my kai-moana (seafood)! This wall reflects that – crayfish, mussels, snapper, pāua and kina (sea urchins) all make an appearance. I also added my three favourite underwater creatures; an eagle ray, a blue whale, and of course a very happy octopus.
Video from TV3’s”Story” (Tuesday 13th October 2015)
Thanks again to all those that donated. The kids (and staff) absolutely love the walls, and I hope they inspire them to fall in love with our amazing natural environment as much as I have!