15 Dec 2017

A week painting under the blazing sun has left street artist Brandon Warrell feeling done in but the 25-year-old is stoked with the end result.

“I’m really happy with how the piece is looking and I’ve had lots of good feedback from the public,’’ says Mr Warrell, the creative force behind the colourful new central city mural of a silver eye and kowhai flower buds emerging from the rubble.

Mr Warrell’s design for the mural was one of three the public were asked to vote on as part of a Christchurch City Council Enliven Places initiative to add life to the blank wall of the Ibis Hotel in Hereford Street.

His design received more than 3000 ‘likes’ during a Council-run Facebook poll and was the clear favourite with the public.

Over the past week Mr Warrell has worked through some of the hottest December days on record to bring his art work to life.

While he was a little bit nervous initially about the scale of the undertaking, he quickly became accustomed to his giant canvas.

Street artist Brandon Warrell takes a break from painting his mural.

“Once the initial sketch was up on the wall and after getting comfortable with being up on the scissor lift, the scale wasn’t as big of a worry as I first thought. If anything it was nice to have a little more room to add in some extra detail,’’ Mr Warrell says.

“It’s been an exhausting week but it’s been worth it.’’

Central ward Councillor Deon Swiggs is among those who have been closely following progress on the newest addition to Christchurch’s street art scene.

“It is totally awesome and adds a splash of colour and vibrancy to what was a bland space,’’ Cr Swiggs says.

“Christchurch has got some great pieces of street art but this piece will always be special because of the active role the community played in determining what went on the wall. The artist’s creativity and talent in enlivening this space adds real value to the central city.’’

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles is also delighted with the outcome of the project.

“It has been fantastic to see people engage in this project and to participate in the creative process. Hopefully all those people who have taken an interest in this project will now take the opportunity to come into the city centre and see it in the flesh,’’ she says.

The mural was made possible through the generous support of the Ibis Hotel and Jeff Dermott Ltd.  

* The Enliven Spaces programme will be seeking ideas and feedback for enlivening another space in the central city in the new year.