The Great Wall of Kingsland

BY Anuja Nadkarni

29/03/15

A novel project by Kingsland residents has turned a big dull grey wall in the neighbourhood into a bold piece of artwork.

Last Sunday, the residents celebrated the official opening of the revamped flyover wall on Bright St.

The local residents-led project, called ‘The Wall on the Bright Side’, invited designs from several artists, and Kate Millington’s ‘Kowhai-Butterfly’ mural design was chosen to grace the wall.

“It was hard work. You had to keep yourself together, be nice to each other when we didn’t feel like it at times, but just had to do it and we got through it – and that’s the sign of a good community,” Ms Millington said.

The aim of the project was not only to transform the wall into an attractive piece of art but also to deter taggers and make the tunnel that connects Bright St to New North Rd safer, she said.

At least 80 people gathered on the day, according to the project’s Facebook page.

Albert-Eden Local Board member Helga Arlington said the project has brought “people out of their homes and finally speaking to each other”.

“The wall before was a complete eye-sore – now it looks so beautiful,” Mrs Arlington said.

The idea was pitched last year to the Albert-Eden Local Board, which supported the idea and offered a $2000 grant, but local resident Lyn Barnes raised a further sum to bring it all together.

“It was great to see all of the neighbourhood come to the bright side… And the best part is all the graffiti boys seem to respect the mural,” Ms Barnes said.

Residents from neighbouring streets also joined the event, which began with a few words by former Waitakere City Mayor Sir Bob Harvey, who spoke about being a former Bright St resident.

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