Thursday, August 26, 2010

A mural survivor

At the back of the St James Cinema complex, facing Lorne Street and the Auckland City Library, there is a survivor among Auckland's collection of murals over the years.

A window space, adorned with a single mural where all else is featureless concrete.

A mother, pointing out something of wonder to her child, across the street.

The thing is -- this wasn't always a lone piece of art. Not here. I am very fortunate to have the permission from Colin Maddock to reproduce his 1999 photo of the same site. (Thank you!)

Once, the mother and her child were joined by an old woman, in an apron, her kitchen utensils poking up over the sill, watched by her black cat.

On the other side, what appears to have been simply an empty room.

Why are the other murals gone? What happened to make them be removed utterly? I don't know. At least, so far, there is the sole survivor, to enchant the viewer who happens to look up in what is, otherwise, a rather ordinary Auckland central city street -- catching sight of something extraordinary.


  1. Err, is the window part of the mural? It is probably silly, but aren't the missing ones behind the cladding over the windows?

  2. Don't think so, Andrew. It's hard to tell from the photos, but looking at the site itself, it seems that whatever cladding the murals were actually painted on have themselves been removed. All quite bizarre, really.

  3. They were quite effective, shame the other two have disappeared.