Better streets & spaces  |  13 Jul 2020

Three colourful murals have brought a new art wave to New Brighton.

Initially a focal point for the three-day New Brighton Outdoor Art Festival, the street art has gone ahead despite the pandemic lockdown stymying festival plans in March.

The man behind the festival, local resident Gavin Fantastic, has worked on the celebration of street art for more than a year, and remains committed to promoting Christchurch as the street art capital of New Zealand – “with New Brighton at its heart”.

Determined to deliver the colourful additions to the beachside suburb, a 40-strong team of volunteers from the local community completed the first mural – Welcome to Ōrua Paeroa – just days before the country went into lockdown.

The mural – near the site of old school pool – welcomes visitors to New Brighton as they travel down Seaview Road. Designed in a paint-by-numbers style by the team at the Fiksate Studio & Gallery, Ōrua Paeroa is one of the names for the surrounding area, including the Travis Wetland and beach.

Mr Fantastic says that during the lockdown “we decided that while the festival could not continue, the two remaining murals should still be completed once restrictions lifted”.

Christchurch artists DTR Crew (DCypher, Freak, Ikarus, and Yikes) have now finished the second work – DTR Beach Mural – opposite 105 Brighton Mall.

“It was completed over three days by the crew, clearly demonstrating the incredible talent of the artists and their mastery of the spray can,” Mr Fantastic says.

“Featuring wizards, crabs, ships, a colossal squid, ice cream, seagulls and sandcastles, the mural is an asset for New Brighton,” he says.

Fifteen graffiti artists have recently created the final mural, titled Traditional Aerosol Art.

“Local graffiti artists have worked collaboratively to showcase their unique style while using a complementary colour scheme,” he says.

Mr Fantastic says the response to the latest wall mural has been “overwhelmingly favourable, with many commenting on the awesome bright colours and how much buzz there is about New Brighton”.

The three murals are among 10 New Brighton art projects overseen by Mr Fantastic.

The Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places Projects Fund has helped fund the recent murals.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says the “striking murals highlight the creativity found in New Brighton, complementing successful new developments such as the beachside hot pools, He Puna Taimoana”.

“The new murals brighten the local landscape, drawing more people to the area to check out these amazing new creative landmarks,” she says.

“These murals capture the wonderful culture of the local community.”