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Buzzing with colour: Award-winning nature mural unveiled in Maraetai

28 Nov 2023

Artist Natasha Fitzpatrick has unveiled her award-winning mural titled ‘Protect Us’ in Maraetai, Auckland.

Natasha was one of ten winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Mural Competition 2023. 

The mural, which is located on a toilet block at Maraetai Park, portrays the message of protecting New Zealand’s native flora and fauna and includes images of pōhutukawa, kōwhai trees, bees, whales and fish, with the words ‘Protect Us’ in the centre. 

“My inspiration for the mural was mainly the importance of the honeybee, hence why they’re the centre of the art, and how without them there is no us, no life,” Natasha says. “I wanted to show how the sun, the plants, the sea and the sea life are all connected, and how for us all to thrive we need to look after each other.”

“I had an absolute blast painting the mural and met a lot of happy locals who were so supportive and loved having a new artwork to appreciate. I feel extremely grateful to be able to contribute to the community I live in.”

The Resene Nature Mural Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, runs from April to June each year. For the latest competition, community members were called on to submit environmentally-themed mural designs to paint on a wall in their local community. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected in June based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, originality and creativity.

Winning artists receive a $1,000 commission once the mural is completed, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to bring their designs to life.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says: “Our Resene Nature Mural Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities. The beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride, deterring vandalism and reducing anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti.”

“We were impressed with the dozens of high-calibre entries we received, so much so that narrowing the selection to just ten winners was a tough task! Natasha’s mural is one of the first of this year’s murals to be fully completed, and we’re thrilled to see the result.”

Since its inception in 2017, there have been 57 Nature Murals commissioned as a result of the programme. 

Natasha’s mural is located on the toilet block at Maraetai Park, 194 Maraetai Drive, Auckland.

The ten winning artists and regions with their designs can be viewed here

View a map of all Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals here.

Published: 28 Nov 2023