Rongotai to Miramar subway mural
Sea creatures and ships – real and imagined – have transformed the entrance walls of the subway that connects Rongotai and Miramar. Students from nearby Rongotai College, who are big users of the walking and biking tunnel beneath the airport runway, worked with artist Sheyne Tuffery and Paul Tobin from Weta Workshop to design and paint murals on the concrete entrances to the subway.
The new artworks are part of an upgrade of the subway which also includes better lighting, new security cameras and a cleaner, brighter interior.
Rongotai College art teacher Esmee McAuley says the project has provided an enormous opportunity for the students to learn more about digital and community art, work with practising artists, and to see and be part of a design process.
A senior class of art students from Rongotai College took part in a series of workshops to help plan the mural, and the proximity of the sea was a key theme. Others were Whātaitai and Ngake – the Māori legend of the creation of the harbour, the film industry, the airport, and likening the action of moving through the tunnel from one suburb to another to going on a plane journey, travelling from one time zone and place to another. The murals have sea-related themes – Rongotai draws on history and the real, while Miramar on the imaginary – myth, fantasy and humour.