An anonymous street artist has been dubbed by locals as ‘Beachlands Banksy’.
On April 6, 2020, residents of the Pohutukawa Coast discovered chalk on their pavements.
From then on out, people would ask the question, ‘Who is Beachlands Banksy?’
The artwork features positive messages and fictional characters.
It put a smile on the faces of anyone who received or stumbled across one.
The artist continued to do this throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns.
In the morning, locals would wake up to find artwork on their driveways and footpaths.
Or have drawings created by children added on with the artist’s own twists and creativity.
The anonymous ‘artist of the night’ would encourage and compliment the children’s drawings.
On May 21, 2020, Natasha Smith, posted on social media a “huge thank you to the incredible artist that we have all come to call ‘Beachlands Banksy’. ”
Smith’s children came out in the mornings during lockdown to check the driveway and see it filled with colourful drawings.
“It was such a highlight for the kids,” Smith said. “The interaction through the drawings encourages my daughter to practice and develop a love for creating characters.”
Smith’s sentiment was echoed by other locals.
As Beachlands Banksy grew in popularity, the quest for the artist’s identity picked up.
Residents are constantly wondering who the face behind the chalk drawings is that has brought such joy to their children.
One community member even spoke about rising early to be able to catch the elusive figure.
However the artist remains undiscovered.
Smith’s daughter, Charlotte, built a rapport with them.
She received a letter on why the artist couldn’t divulge their name.
“I can’t give you my name,” Beachlands Banksy wrote. “I’d prefer to remain anonymous, as I want the community to focus on the drawings and messages done by everyone.”
The praise for Beachlands Banksy is still ongoing.
The anniversary of the artist’s first chalk drawings was celebrated on social media.
“It has been a year like no other and Beachlands Banksy has brought so much happiness, love and excitement during some very dark and scary times,” Smith wrote.
“You have created a legacy that will forever have such a special place in all our hearts.”