A dozen 1xRUN alumni including Askew, Jonny Alexander, Jason Botkin, Celeste Byers, Cinzah, Aaron Glasson, Kai’ili Kaulukukui, Lauren Ys, Meggs, Elliot Francis Stewart, Vexta and Spencer Keeton Cunningham joined 17 other artists and our good friends over at PangeaSeed‘s Sea Walls Murals For Oceans New Zealand. Additional artists included Amanda Lynn, Carly Ealey, Charles & Janine Williams, Christie Wright, Morag Shaw, Noelle Anderson, Mica Still, Christopher Konecki, Phibs, Cracked Ink, Faith47, Dirty Bandits, Techs, Dside, Trustme, Twoone and Frank & Mimi.
1xNews Contributors Miya Tsukazaki and Enriqueta Arias were down in New Zealand to see these 28 thought provoking murals go up. Read on to check find out more about each artists mural and get the full story behind their thought provoking murals. Each piece sheds light on New Zealand’s pressing marine environmental issues such as shark finning, overfishing, coastal development, climate change, and endangered marine life conservation, helping to further PangeaSeed Foundation’s ARTivism (Art + Activism) initiative. Read on to see photos of each mural and learn more…
Askew – Mural Topic: Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
Askew One incorporates his unique photorealistic portraiture half submerged in water, with underlying abstract elements of plush land and greenery above water and emanating concerns of ocean acidification and rising sea levels below.
“With my mural for Sea Walls, Napier, I was attempting to address several interrelated issues. I think the deeper I look into issues like ocean conservation I realise that nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is connected because we live on a planet that is actually a closed system. To allow things to recycle within that system we have to be conscious of consuming more harmoniously with the system as opposed to being so disruptive. I can talk about how we are driving climate change, how it is warming the planet and subsequently causing ocean acidification which is destroying the reefs and their complex ecosystems – what’s harder is to then unpack the myriad of related consequences…
…Those range from the harm to all the planets creatures, the environment, economics, social and political. I cannot stress this enough – if you strip away all the talk, the political posturing and all the corporate spin, every issue we face as a species relates back to our relationship with this planet. Something that may sound as random or inconsequential to your life as a dead reef in small island nation will have an impact on everyone at some point. This mural is inspired by those thoughts and dedicated to all our neighbouring Pacific Island nations, most likely the least contributors to the problem yet on the very frontline of the consequences of climate change. Big thanks to Frankie Adams for being the model for this work.” – Askew
Jonny Alexander – Mural Topic: Coastal Development and Sea Level Rise
“The correlation between environmental issues can be seen from a macro to micro view. Starting from the large scale, Climate Change being the overarching result of a global way of living. The altering of climate zones around the world is largely an effect of human consumption habits as a whole. And leads directly to sea level rise…
…Going smaller, I chose to focus on a specific symbol that represents human consumption, the cargo ship. The cargo ship is a representation of global trade; it is the new largest creature in the seas, overtaking the whale in mass and size. This is the vessel that transports all of our goods from port to port, from manufacturing country to consumer…
…Going further into a micro view, after the cargo ship brings the goods to port. Daily human consumption is the next step. The way in which we choose to live our lives has a great impact on our environment. This is where change begins, on an individual basis. Being mindful of how you choose to consume necessary and unnecessary products is the beginning of creating change.” – Jonny Alexander
Jason Botkin & Cinzah – Mural Topic: Marine Protected Areas and the Interrelationship Between Species and Habitats
The massive Botkin/Cinzah collaboration explores significant Māori and global nautical mythologies, featuring the entangled bodies of a longfin eel (the largest and the only endemic freshwater eel species of New Zealand that is in a threatened condition), and an octopus covered in the face markings of traditional Māori ‘Tā moko.’
Also featured are guest appearances from various birds and aquatic life that have long been a food source for the people of these islands, which are now facing dramatically lowered regional populations. The mural also addresses the importance of Marine Protected Areas for maintaining the vital interrelationships between species and habitats.
Celeste Byers – Mural Topic: New Zealand’s Endangered Fiordland Penguins
Celeste’s mural addresses the endangered Fiordland Penguins, which nest in the rainforests and ocean rock caves of New Zealand’s South Island when they are not living in the sea. Their populations have decreased since human arrival and in the past 35 years, their population has gone down from 10,000 breeding pairs to 3,000. Humans have caused a loss of their habitat and oil spills, and have introduced the biggest threat to the species – predators, such as dogs, cats, stoats, and rats.
Aaron Glasson – Mural Topic: Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s)
Pania of the Reef is a historical Maori story of love and respect for the ocean that has become one of Napier’s most well known symbols and is retold throughout New Zealand. Pania was a sea-maiden who married a local man, their shape-shifting son Moremore can be seen today in the form of sea animals that serve as an omen, and Pania’s body now makes up Napier’s most famous reef. Aaron worked closely with local Maori and the family of Pania to create his mural that depicts the story of her life, painting her decedents in the role Pania and creating a contemporary interpretation this meaningful history.
Kai’ili Kaulukukui – Mural Topic: Endangered Maui’s Dolphins
“This mural addresses the importance of Maui’s Dolphins, which are critically endangered and the tiny remainder is dwindling rapidly. They are the smallest species of dolphin on the planet, and have unusual breeding practices that lead to a low reproduction rate. We need to speak up for them now before they quietly disappear. I tried to present them as large as possible to represent the immediate importance of this issue.” – Kai’ili Kaulukukui
Lauren Ys – Mural Topic: Hammerhead Data Translation
Lauren’s mural focuses on the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, only five of which have ever been tagged in Japan, a project led by Tre’ Packard, the founder of Pangeaseed, and his team. Lauren’s design pulls in the local Maori myth of Pania and Moremore – a sea-fairy and her shape-shifting shark son, whose appearance is an omen of things to come – in order to bring awareness of this incredible species. Her piece aims to bring attention to the pioneering shark-tagging project with the ultimate goal of creating a Marine Protected Area (MPA) for these animals.
Meggs & Phibs – “Message in a Bottle” – Mural Topic : Plastic Pollution
Every minute, a garbage truck full of plastic makes its way into the earth’s oceans and plastics are expected to outweigh fish by the year 2050. Every single piece of plastic ever made still exists on earth and now it is breaking down into tiny particles in our seas.
“Our mural focuses on this spectrum of plastic pollution – from large-scale debris, which poisons, chokes, and kills mammals and deep sea fish, to the smaller particles that are being eaten by all sea creatures. Our personal mantra is to ‘live with less’ and reduce our consumption of non-biodegradable products. We are rapidly killing our planet, and ultimately ourselves.” – Meggs
Elliot Francis Stewart – Mural Topic: Ocean Pollution
Vexta – Mural Topic: New Zealand’s Endangered Sea Birds – Storm Petrel
“This work speaks of the critically endangered NZ Storm Petrel (Oceanites Maorianus). The small swallow like seabird was declared extinct in 1850, until it was rediscovered in 2004. We are currently facing the 6th wave of extinction where human activity is directly impacting on the survival of other species & biodiversity. Especially as witnessed in our oceans right now…
The story of the Storm Petrel and its re-emergence into existence is one of hope. Few creatures are considered Lazarus Taxons (an organism that has disappeared from the fossil record only to reappear again) and I painted this piece as a reminder that we know so little about our earth and its mysteries. I believe its critically important keep our wild spaces just that – wild & free. Our survival as well as other creatures such as the Storm Petrel depends on our earth’s diversity.” – Vexta
Spencer Keeton Cunningham – Mural Topic: Shark Conservation / Shark Finning
“I wanted to create a world where the sharks have actually taken on human characteristics and have come to land to take revenge for being finned and stand their ground. I believe education about shark finning is important through art and I want to bring the topic into the light by creating these large shark figures that will eventually be towering over the humans passing by in Napier.” – Spencer Keeton Cunningham
“The power of public art and activism has the ability to educate and inspire the global community to help save our seas. No matter where you are in the world, the ocean supplies us with every second breath we take and life on Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans. With dwindling global fish stocks, rising sea levels, and widespread pollution, whether you live on the coast or in the city or in the mountains, we should all feel responsible for the health of the oceans and life that lives within it,” PangeaSeed Foundation Executive Director Tre’ Packard said.
Two OneCarley Ealey (Above) / Trust Me (Below) Techs (Above) Noelle Anderson (above) Morag Shaw Mica Still Frank & Mimi (above) / Faith47 (below) Chris Konecki Christie Wright / Cracked Ink Charles & Janine Williams Amandalynn + Dirty Bandits (above) / Phibs (below)
“The power of public art and activism has the ability to educate and inspire the global community to help save our seas. No matter where you are in the world, the ocean supplies us with every second breath we take and life on Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans. With dwindling global fish stocks, rising sea levels, and widespread pollution, whether you live on the coast or in the city or in the mountains, we should all feel responsible for the health of the oceans and life that lives within it,” says PangeaSeed Foundation Executive Director Tre’ Packard.
Artist and mural statements written and edited by Miya Tsukazaki and Enriqueta Arias.
Photos by Tre Packard, Instagrafite, Yoshi Yanagita, Olivia Laita, Zane Meyer, Carley Ealey, Miya Tsukazaki, Magda Coccinella, Janine Williams, Derek Hackett, Cinzah Merkins, Enriqueta Arias, Te Kawa Robb, J. Mauger.
1xRUN is proud to sponsor Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans – New Zealand along with Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, ArtLife, Resene, Napier Now, AAI, Napier Port, Cox Partners, Benson Property Group, Mackersey Development, West Quay Holdings, Hawkes Bay Tourism, Quest Apartments, Navigate Hotel, Blue Water Hotel, Six Sisters, Broken Tribe, Bay Espresso, Milk and Honey, Eat Drink Share HB, Yin Yoga, Hapi, Organic Ash, All Good Organics, and media partners Instagrafite, Buzzworthy, All City Canvas, and Chop Em Down Films.