Dawn blessing with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
'MAI I NGĀ MAUNGA KI TE MOANA'
FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA
Commissioned for the newly opened Amee Daldy Park, the Watercare Pumpstation is a collaboration effort to bring colour and life to this inner city structure. A wastewater treatment system sits within the
concrete walls & the use of particular manu (birds) was determined by careful consultation with the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum of Tāmaki Makaurau.
The mural was painted under an all weather wrap requiring a careful & meticulous process of grid lines to ensure the cylindrical design met up. Horizontal lines & intricate contemporary Māori designs symbolising strong eco-system connections were symbolised through the connections and differing habitats represented by colour. Ocean birds & habitats, forest canopies & green hues of the ngāhere (bush) remind us of the important and differing roles of each. 3 months under wraps with no ability at any time to step back and to see if we were heading in the right direction created some difficult challenges. Multiple concrete primer layers for the different materials was essential before adding paint which essentially meant we needed to paint the mural twice - once in primer and the second in colour.
With the differing heights, the moving shape, the inability to see the structure from afar, no projection only grids and measuring - this by far has been the most complex and difficult project we've painted to date. It has also been our absolute pleasure and honour to have been approached by mana whenua and to be entrusted with such an important artwork for the city that we love so much. The artwork was officially unveiled & blessed with the support and presence of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei & attended by kaumatua, kuia, city leaders, whānau & friends to bring it all to a close so thank you to the team at Watercare, Eke Panuku & to everyone who made this project happen. A special thanks goes to Jeanine McMullien (Eke Panuku - Project Manager) and Daniel Haines (Eke Panuku - Manager Māori Outcomes) for your guidance, support & help throughout the process. It took us about one year, one pandemic & a whole bunch of meetings but we made it!