Art wall for all

29 SepCommunity

The rattle of a spraycan and the hiss of paint are not usually sounds that Palmy walls are keen to hear, followed as they typically are by some ugly sprayed scribble or other.

Now Te Manawa has teamed up with Passionart and a host of sponsors to create a wall where the spraycan is not feared – in fact it is more than welcome.

The Free Wall project has been germinating for about 6 months, and the site, on Te Manawa’s Church St/Pitt St corner,  finally saw its first mural created last Friday, as Rotorua artist Jacob Chrisohoou – “Siren” to his mates – went to work with his collection of cans.


Inspired by a similar work in Copenhagen, the Free Wall is intended to constantly be changing, new art layering over old. Something you see today may be replaced by week’s end. The paint will build up and up over months, and when it reaches the edge of the frame, it gets yoinked out and either displayed separately or turned into more art – this time in three dimensions. Then the whole process begins again.

Here’s the really big thing about the wall though: anyone can paint on it. Anyone! There’ll be invited artists doing their thing, but there are no limits on who can join in, at any hour of the day or night. If you’d like some free paint (donated by Resene), register at the Te Manawa front desk or by contacting Passionart. Or not! Just rock up with your own paint and create to your heart’s content. There are only two rules: keep it family friendly, and don’t paint over something that hasn’t finished drying yet.

So grab some paint in a can/pot/tin/tube and let your imagination fire. Unleash your creative spirit and help turn a blank black back wall into something people will drive the long way around to see.

WwOl62BhRob Mildon got his start painting things the size of a ladybird, then moved up to things the size of a thumb. He has his sights set on one day painting a grapefruit, or possibly a mug of tea