Saturday, September 8, 2012

Various murals an' stuff

A bit of a mixed bag of things spotted on my travels around Auckland over the past couple of weeks or so. First, Onehunga, where a mural has been freshly installed (these shots taken 21 August).

Painted by members of Onehunga's YMCA Raise Up n Represent group. I recognised the origami peace cranes straight off, but it took a while to notice the stylised pixellated version of One Tree Hill (without the tree, of course. If we ever get to have trees once more on the mount, will they be added later?)

It's meant to be "hip hop" and "digital", according to artist Adrian Jackman. I can see that they've succeeded.

At the other end of the spectrum, and across the Manukau Harbour at Mangere Bridge shops, this old mural still lingers in behind the main street, facing the library carpark. There used to be a hangi takeaways here, apparently, and this was done as part of the advertising. A bit of Kiwiana, found unexpectedly.

At the back of the Karangahape Road shops, this mural along an otherwise dull streetscape of carpark entries and loading bays. Sorry I didn't get a better shot without the fantail at the end washed out by the sun -- a friend had offered me a ride to Mt Albert that day, and I didn't want to keep him waiting.

Advertising, yes -- but I do rather like this mural spotted in Dominion Road's Eden Valley shops.

More of my past landscape about to vanish -- the Avondale Book Exchange has gone, the shop now a household goods store. I wonder how long the illuminated sign will last. Photographed this week.

Finally, the Maori waharoa or gateway leading to a cycleway formed up Puketapapa/Mt Roskill (Winstone Park), with State Highway 20 in the background.

If there are any interpretive signs in the vicinity, I couldn't see them -- which is a pity. I'd liked to know the story behind the gateway, and this stone (above). Yes, they're nice, but seriously -- unless you have some kind of explanation on the ground, installations like these are just about as good as lawn ornaments.  They're pretty in the landscape, but the story is lost. Just my personal opinion.


  1. I like the first mural and I expect younger people might really like it. Another aspect to interpretive signs, is that people learn details with ease. You have probably looked online for details about it, but most would not and never find out the gateway's story.

  2. Yup, that's the point. Sure, I don't like seeing sites all cluttered up, and words can definitely get in the way. Gradually, though, we're seeing in Auckland the introduction of digital scanning tech used in place of the traditional signage, pointing savvy visitors with smartphones in the direction of the necessary guff at the swipe of the phone. For luddites like me, the digital stuff is also available back home via keyboard tap. The times, they are a'changing.