28 Nov 2017

A design featuring a kōwhai tree and an inquisitive silver eye has emerged as the public’s preferred choice for Christchurch’s newest piece of street art.

The design by local artist Brandon Warrell was one of three the public were asked to vote on as part of an Enliven Places(external link) initiative to create a new mural on the wall of the Ibis Hotel in Hereford Street.

Brandon Warrell with his winning art work.

Brandon Warrell is excited to see his winning art work on the wall of the Ibis Hotel.

“Brandon’s design overwhelming received the most ‘likes’ on the Council’s Facebook page and was the clear favourite with the public, with more than 3000 likes,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles.

“It’s going to be great to see his concept design brought to life and another colourful and striking piece of street art added to the central city.

“Christchurch has been ranked alongside New York, Barcelona, Berlin and London as one of the street art capitals of the world and street art has become a key part of the energy of our rejuvenating city.

“It’s been wonderful to see people getting involved in this latest project and having an influence on the design,’’ Ms Ingles says.

Work on the painting of Mr Warrell’s mural will begin next week.

Mr Warrell, who works full-time as a van artist and depot assistant for a campervan hire company, is thrilled by the prospect of having his art on show in such a prominent location.

“It definitely excites me to have my work on such a prominent central city location but also makes me a little nervous with the scale of it,’’ the 25-year-old admits.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and a real honour to have such overwhelming public support for my design - I really didn’t expect it.’’

When asked what inspired his art work, Mr Warrell says he wanted to incorporate New Zealand flora and fauna to depict a bright and flourishing future for Christchurch, with the silver eye and kowhai almost emerging from the rubble.

“In terms of using a silver eye and kōwhai, these are just my personal favourite bird and flower,’’ he says.

The Council’s Enliven Places programme aims to encourage people to visit the central city by creating an attractive, interesting and welcoming environment.

It also welcomes people to play a part in defining and delivering local place-making initiatives that contribute to Christchurch’s unique identity.

The Enliven Places Programme will soon be seeking ideas and feedback for enlivening another space in the city, so keep an eye out for more information.