paul x walsh

Auckland-based mural / street art / graffiti artist

Ōtara Mural Creation – the results

Tane - Mayfield Primary School, Otara

‘Tāne’ (click for full resolution)

'Tangaroa', Mayfield Primary School

‘Tangaroa’ (Click for full resolution)

Done! Huge thanks again to everyone that donated money and paint, particularly Cracked Ink, Dulux New Zealand, and that one super generous guy that donated $400.

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!