Art & creativity  |  25 Feb 2020

A selfie-friendly mural with an “interactive” kea aims to draw people to the new-look Bishopdale Village Green.

Created by local street artist Jake Clark, the colourful artwork features a kereru, kea, bees and sunflowers, complemented by a sky and mountains scene.

The artist, who is working on multiple city projects, has drawn inspiration from local flora and fauna.

“I wanted to create something to reflect the surrounding area,” Mr Clark says.

“An element from the brief was to include a pair of wings for photo opportunities – so that people can get a selfie with the wings behind them.

“I used the narrative of the mural to place native birds in the sky scene.”

Mr Clark believes that areas like The Village Green are essential to the regeneration of Christchurch and the local community.

“It has been great to add to the open space and collaborate with the community to deliver something we can be really proud of,” he says.

“As a local, it has been good to see the change in the area. Areas like the library, the Village Green and mall seem to draw people in. I have noticed the diversity in those who use the area too.”

Several special art panels will also adorn the mural wall.

Working from the theme of “windows over Bishopdale”, students from Isleworth School, Emanuel Christian School, Breens Intermediate, Casebrook Intermediate and Papanui High School have created the five panels.

“The positive feedback – and the impressive artwork from our local schools – has been a highlight for me,” Mr Clark says.

“I hope that people get a lift from the artworks and can take some pride in this great little area,” he says.

The new work – on a local business wall – contributes to a regeneration programme for the central area, including the development of the former library and community centre site.

Supported by the Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board and local business and community groups including the Bishopdale Community Trust and Enliven Bishopdale Group, several improvements are under way, including the Village Green.

The open space will include seating, picnic tables, cherry trees and a drinking fountain.

Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board Chairperson David Cartwright says the mural and panels – along with other improvements – bring a vibrant scene to life in the heart of Bishopdale.

“The beauty of open-air public art is that everyone can see and enjoy it,” Mr Cartwright says.

“The new artwork certainly enlivens our area, enhancing our Bishopdale Village green space and inviting people to share the work.

“Local groups and the business association have all played major roles in the positive development of the area, underlining the community focus of the project.”