The mural was initiated to enliven the area, celebrate the wealth of nature and recreation on our city’s back doorstep, and to deter graffiti.
The design was informed by mana whenua representatives, and research behind the design included connecting with Council librarian, Ann Reweti, the Karori Historical Society, local schools, and the Karori Residents’ Association.
“The theme, and name, of the mural – Journeying – honours the history of the area and how it was valued by early Māori. The concept of journeying is also represented in the design through tāwhirimātea (the wind) depicting movement, Kākā – flight, Papatūānuku reflecting the passage of time, and the tuna (eel) – migration,” says Theo.
Project-lead Debbie Bidlake says: “We wanted the mural to convey a sense of place, both past and present. When we walk these hills, we walk in the footsteps of our ancestors who used Te Wharangi ridgeline to journey between the inner harbour and coast and valued the area for gathering food and rongoā. We also wanted the mural to talk about the importance of biodiversity and the interconnection of people and nature.
“Since the reservoir sits above a playground, we wanted the mural to be interactive and to engage our tamariki, hence the hidden flora and fauna motifs. The artist, Theo, nailed the brief. This mural has transformed the area. It now feels vibrant and inviting, the kind of place the community can celebrate and feel proud of. What a gift Theo has given us.”