Connecting communities through art

 

Hayley King’s mural of the cityscape at Sylvia Park has the young and old filling it up with vibrant colours during the school holidays. Times photo Wayne Martin.

Art brings communities together. Nothing illustrates it more than people from ages five to 70 adding colour to a giant pop-up mural of the cityscape at Sylvia Park Shopping Centre on Thursday morning.

The 10-metre mural created by one of New Zealand’s most recognised contemporary artist, Hayley King aka Flox during the school holidays (till July 23) at the shopping centre is to connect people through creativity.

“A project like this brings people from different walks of life together says,” says Hayley who works with prints, publications, murals, graphic design, stationary and has also illustrated a very popular children’s story book Tu Meke Tui as well designed an adult colouring book.

The mural that features the theme `Love my City Auckland’ includes the city skyline with her trademark birds,  flora and fauna beautifully integrated with the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower,  Auckland Museum,  Clock Tower and more.

“It is great to see people so engaged,” says the aerosol and stencil artist with a degree in fine art and business studies.

“Besides, who wants to be out on weather like this,” she laughs.

Hayley is no stranger to making a splash in the community with larger-than-life artworks.

Last year, she collaborated with another New Zealand artist, a jewellery designer and a photographer, to work on the Painted Peacock Project which involved travelling to Udaipur in India, and hosting art-based workshops for a local primary school.

“We also painted a large street mural for the community on a wall near Lake Pichola,” she says about her trip to India.

“The Painted Peacock Project was about our artistic growth and more importantly sharing our skill and knowledge with the local community.

“The final objective of the trip was to showcase the documentation and artwork that came out of the project in the form of an exhibition in New Zealand.”

Part of the proceeds they raised went towards providing the Indian school children with new shoes and art supplies. They also raised money for KidsCan Charitable Trust in New Zealand.

Prior to that in 2015, Hayley did a three- month artist residency in Taiwan, where again she created an outdoor mural and painted it live.

“My brief for the residency was to create street projects to enliven the concrete ambience of Taiwan.”

She was also commissioned for custom jobs in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Hayley says that travelling and immersing herself in new cultures is something she does for her creative growth as an artist.

“I find it very inspiring and fulfilling,” she says