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New Zealand's largest mural features a life-sized humpback whale

11 Feb 2021

The whale and sharks of Cinzah Merkens' mural are painted in Resene Space Cadet, Resene Bismark, Resene Botticelli, Resene Foam and Resene Mariner. Colours used to create the sea include Resene Blue Bark, Resene Elephant, Resene Teal Blue, Resene Shakespeare, Resene Fountain Blue, Resene Deep Sea and Resene Forest Green.


Six weeks of manpower, 200 litres of Resene paint and oodles of imagination have gone into the creation of New Zealand’s largest mural. The artwork, painted on the wall of the NZ Maritime Museum in Hobson Street, Auckland, is the work of Auckland-born Napier artist, Cinzah Merkens. Cinzah, who has completed several murals overseas and is known in New Zealand for his work the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans, says this mural is particularly significant to him.

"It felt amazing stepping back from this mural, seeing it in its entirety, and pulling off the largest scale job of my career to date," says Cinzah.

"Completing the largest mural in New Zealand is a pretty amazing feeling. It was a huge undertaking, with so many variables to factor in including working with the elements, gale-force winds, the sun, pelting rain, and obstacles on the corrugated iron wall itself, so it’s good to know what I’m now physically capable of achieving."

Cinzah Merkens next to his mural at the NZ Maritime Museum. The colours of the octopus are Resene Red Oxide, Resene Redwood, Resene Lusty, Resene Kamikaze, Resene Vanquish, Resene Volcano, Resene Papier Mache, Resene Teal Blue, Resene Fountain Blue, Resene Cinder and Resene Home Run.

The artwork features a life-sized humpback whale, mako and hammerhead sharks as well as New Zealand fish favourites kahawai, and snapper swim and is a reminder of the importance of protecting marine life, says Cinzah.

“Creating this mural has given me a chance to highlight, on a grand scale, what’s so beautiful about it and what must be protected, and its relevance to our people and culture,” said Cinzah at the launch.

“It was a pleasure to be able to exemplify the Maritime Museum’s increasing focus on ocean health and sustainability by making the predominant design element of the mural the natural environment of the Hauraki Gulf and the Waitematā.”

The New Zealand Maritime Museum’s mural project was made possible with support gratefully received from the Chisholm Whitney Charitable Trust, Maritime Museum Foundation and Resene.