Artwork to take pride of place during Matariki

Quenton Nankivell (left) took his daughters Wikitori (10) and Mihiana (7) to help local artist Steve Chernishov create a mural inspired by Matariki.

THE stars and Maori culture were the inspiration for a group of Invercargill residents who painted a mural to be exhibited during next month’s Matariki celebrations.

Local artist Steve Chernishov hosted a workshop at the Invercargill Public Library on Sunday to create an ultraviolet mural for the Matariki Light Festival.

Mr Chernishov said the event started with a discussion about the meaning of Matariki and from there, children chose key words which they thought were connected with the Maori new year.

“It is a combination of art therapy and explaining what Matariki – the Maori New Year – is all about.”

Invercargill children had fun and created an abstract piece which would be finalised by Chernishov and then exhibited at the event which will run from July 2 to 6 at Invercargill’s Queens Park.

Mihiana Nankivell, of Invercargill, said she was excited to see the completed mural.

“I’m feeling happy and I will feel very proud when all the community sees the work we’ve done.”

Her father Quenton Nankivell said it was important for children to learn about their background and the Maori culture.

“It is important they know where they came from and for them to feel connected with their background.”

The Maori New Year is marked by the reappearance of a cluster of stars known as Matariki, or Pleiades, in the winter sky before dawn.