Banksy artwork at Paradox Festival

Jacob Yikes’ work is one of the pieces being shown as part of the festival. Photo: Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival, photography by Luke Shirlaw.

Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival opens to the public today with 22 works by the world-famous Banksy on display, 13 murals and installations created by internationally acclaimed street artists and a virtual reality installation.

Organised by Tauranga City Council in partnership with Oi YOU! and Tauranga Art Gallery, Paradox is breaking new ground in this part of the world with the Tauranga Art Gallery being the first major municipal art gallery in the Southern Hemisphere that has been given over entirely to street art.

The free exhibition at the gallery is the centrepiece of the 12-week festival, featuring not only the extensive Oi YOU! street art collection and works within the gallery but also seven major city centre walls transformed by some of the world’s most well-known street artists.

Accompanied by an extensive events programme the festival is the first of its kind in Tauranga adding to the city centre’s vibrancy.

Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout is excited to see the art gallery and the city centre coming to life with big scale murals changing Tauranga’s appearance.

“The festival has been created for our residents and visitors to enjoy, to spark pride in our communities and to enhance the uniqueness of the city we live in.

“The talent that has come to Tauranga is mind-blowing and I can’t wait to see spectators emerging themselves in this unique experience within the gallery, on the streets and at the variety of events.

“Paradox will bring increased visitation to the region and continue to position Tauranga as an event-friendly, internationally competitive city.

“We, Tauranga City Council in partnership with Oi YOU! and Tauranga Art Gallery, are looking forward to hosting the festival over the next couple of months and I hope residents and visitors will enjoy all it has to offer.”

Paradox artistic director George Shaw hopes the festival will attract people from around the country and even the world to Tauranga.

“I believe the chance to view a Banksy collection is a massive drawcard,” says Shaw.

“The Oi YOU! Collection is about 100 pieces strong including the most extensive collection of works by street artist Banksy in the Southern Hemisphere.

“It may be the Banksy name that grabs the initial attention but I know from experience that it’ll be all the stunning artworks and installations, that our amazing line-up of headline artists have produced specifically for Paradox, that people will be talking about in the bars, cafes and schools over the next few weeks.”

Tauranga Art Gallery offered a blank canvas for Lucy McLauchlan, Sofles, Fintan Magee, Askew One, Jacob Yikes, Charles and Janine Williams and Rone to create unique site-specific works inside the gallery that are on display alongside the Oi YOU! Collection.

Tauranga Art Gallery director Karl Chitham explains that Paradox perfectly reflects the gallery’s vision to create exceptional art experiences that engage, inspire, challenge and educate.

“The entire space has been transformed into an immersive street art experience, as every exhibition space is dedicated to Paradox.

“As the host of Paradox Inside, we are excited to be working with these incredibly talented street artists that have re-imagined our gallery and spaces around the city,” he says.

Paradox Live & Local, the festival’s events programme, will provide residents and visitors with a chance to have a ‘hands on’ street art experience.

Paradox Live makes the start on the first weekend of the festival, celebrating and welcoming the festival to the city.

On Saturday, April 1, from 11am until 3pm visitors will be treated to live performances including the Troy Kingi Band and singer songwriter Bailey Wiley at the city centre’s waterfront, guided wall walks throughout the city centre and much more.

See for the full event programme and more details. 

About the festival

Tauranga City Council in partnership with Oi YOU! and Tauranga Art Gallery are proud to present Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival featuring the Oi YOU! Collection and works by some of the world’s finest artists.

The festival will span 12 weeks and is comprised of three elements: Paradox Inside, Paradox Outside and Paradox Live & Local.

Paradox Inside features a major, ground-breaking street art exhibition inside Tauranga Art Gallery, featuring the Oi YOU! collection.

To complement the collection of iconic street art, some of the world’s most famous artists have created bespoke works within the gallery – especially for Tauranga.

Paradox Outside will include a combination of public and privately-owned wall spaces transformed by artists from home and abroad to celebrate the natural habitat of street art.

Seven street art pieces are currently taking shape around Tauranga’s city centre and will be finished by Friday, March 31.

All works by our collective of artists Lucy McLauchlan, Sofles, Fintan Magee, Askew One, Jacob Yikes, Charles and Janine Williams and Wongi have been created in and especially for Tauranga.

Paradox Live & Local encourages public interaction with a series of events over the 12 weeks attracting young and old, locals and visitors to the city’s colourful canvases.

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