Strand mural gives locals wings

Are they a pair of angel wings? Or the wings of soaring a hawk? Could they be wings of a tattooed vulture?

The wonderful thing about The Strand’s new mural is it can be whatever you want it to be, says creators Tara Fowler and Millie Newitt.

One thing is definite though, the intricate and brightly coloured mural is a “love note to Tauranga”.

The mural was painted during last weekend’s horrendous weather and took the two artists 24 hours to complete.

Interaction and personal interpretation have been the key focuses of the mural, says Millie.

“We wanted it to be really vibrant, colourful, quirky, and give people an idea of what public art can be.”

Tara adds: “People can interpret it however they want and we’ve had many already, like one guy who said it was like a vulture with tattoos on its wings which was cool.”

As they were painting the mural a number of people stopped to have a look at what they were creating.

Passers-by had really good things to say, including one elderly woman who hoped “her wings would be as beautiful as these” when the time came.

“We also met the person who painted the previous mural,” says Millie. “He was really happy to see something else go on because the previous one was painted in 1997.”

The mural is part of a Downtown Tauranga campaign to create a more vibrant atmosphere around the city centre for locals to enjoy.

One of the ideas is to get people snapping pictures of themselves in front of the mural and sharing them on social media sites, like Twitter.

So get ready to see #downtowntauranga popping up online.

Mainstreet coordinator Karena Mattson says she is really happy with the artwork.

“The more you look at the piece the more you find within, it is a really interesting piece.

“The mural has instantly had such a great response with people already commenting on the colour and all the interaction it’s creating.”

Karena is keeping tight lipped as to whether more murals will pop up around the city but offered the tantalising line of “never say never.”

This could just be the start of something beautiful for The Strand and Tauranga.

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