Flight of the fantail

The latest artwork by Southland artist Deow Owen The Journey of the Piwakawaka, which was painted after being named as a winner in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Nature Murals Competition 2021.

SOUTHLAND artist, Deow Owen, is one of 10 winners of the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Nature Murals Competition 2021.

The Journey of the Piwakawaka, recently painted at 103 Spey St, Invercargill, shows a fantail in flight through dense, New Zealand native forest.

Deow said there were a series of abstract layers and geometric shapes in the artwork which represented the stories and structure of life in New Zealand.

“The piwakawaka is the storyteller of the history of New Zealand’s native forest. I want the mural to carry on the story and journey of the piwakawaka by protecting our native trees and shrubs that were here long before us and will be here long after we have gone.”

The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June, with artists encouraged to submit mural designs which included an environmental message.

Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top 10 murals selected based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, and originality/creativity.

Artists then have 12 months to bring their murals to life.

Winning designs receive a $1000 grant upon completion, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson, said the Nature Murals Competition was getting more popular every year.

“This is the fifth year we’ve run the competition in partnership with Resene, and once again we’ve been overwhelmed with not only the quantity, but the quality of the entries we’ve received.

“We know the benefits that beautification of public spaces can have on local communities, so we’re always excited to see it when these murals come to life.