Central city  |  14 Feb 2019

A pedestrian walkway near a central city hotel has been rejuvenated with a colourful mural featuring local landmarks and bold native flowers.

The mural, completed recently by local street artist Brandon Warrell, is in Westpac Lane behind the Distinction Christchurch Hotel in Cathedral Square.

Westpac Lane mural.

A new mural brightens up Westpac Lane, which runs from the southeast corner of Cathedral Square to Hereford Street.

It depicts harakeke (flax) and kowhai flowers and familiar central city landmarks such as the Christchurch Tram, New Regent St and the Chalice sculpture in a design that brings interest and vibrancy to the lane.

“We were aiming to create a piece that best represented the beauty of Christchurch taking inspiration from both iconic architecture, imagery and native flora,” Warrell says.

The mural is part of Christchurch City Council’s Enliven Places Programme which aims to transform under-utilised spaces into appealing and interesting areas. It has been running since 2012 with about 70 projects funded so far.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says laneways are an important link between central city precincts and a key part of the regeneration of the central city.

“Westpac Lane forms part of the laneways network threading across the city and connecting pedestrians to attractions such as the Central Bus Exchange, Cathedral Square, New Regent St and Tūranga (central library).

“Through the Council’s Enliven Places Programme we’ve been able to beautify this lane and weave a little bit more creativity and positivity into the experience of walking around our central city.”

The Council has worked in partnership with Distinction Christchurch Hotel to improve the appearance and safety of Westpac Lane, because the area at the back of the Hotel had attracted graffiti and wasn’t well lit.

The Hotel has cleaned up the graffiti and is installing new lighting and the Council arranged for the mural to be painted by Warrell.  He was joined in working on the mural by up-and-coming fellow street artist Caelan.

Warrell’s previous public art work includes Rise from the Rubble, a large-scale mural of a silver eye and kowhai flower on the side of the Ibis Hotel which won the public’s preferred choice for the Council’s Enliven Mural project in December 2017.