Award-winning mural unveiled in Howick

Joel Nicholls and his winning mural ‘Water, Water, Water Everywhere’. Photo supplied

Local artist Joel Nicholls has unveiled his award-winning mural titled, ‘Water, Water, Water Everywhere’ across from the New World carpark in Howick.

Nicholls, from Howick, was one of 10 winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals Competition 2021.

The mural depicts a huge pukeko set against a blue water background trying to drink from a bottle.

Taking inspiration from the saying ‘Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’ [from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’], Nicholls says he wanted to convey the concept that whilst water may be available, it’s not always clean or drinkable.

The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2021, with artists encouraged to submit mural designs which included an environmental message.

Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top 10 murals selected based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community and originality/creativity. Artists then had 12 months to bring their mural to life.

Winning designs receive a $1000 grant upon completion along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson, said the Our Nature Murals Competition is getting more popular every year.

“This is the fifth year we’ve run the competition in partnership with Resene and, once again, we’ve been overwhelmed with not only the quantity, but the quality of the entries we’ve received.

“We know the benefits that beautification of public spaces can have on local communities so we’re always excited to see it when these murals come to life.”

The 10 winning artists and their designs can be seen on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.