7 December 2022

Spray cans galore as 23 artists spruce up Invercargill CBD walls

Artists from as far as Japan and the United States are taking to Invercargill’s CBD walls with spray cans.

The South Sea Spray Festival is the brainchild of Invercargill-based graffiti artist Danny Owen; aka Deow.

He got a group of fellow artists to Riverton in 2018 to help brighten up the western Southland town with some street art.

Deow then teamed up with the Mīharo Murihiku Trust to carry on the concept in Bluff in 2021. Now 23 artists are in central Invercargill this week with spray cans in hand as they go about showcasing their artistic brilliance by painting murals on walls at 18 different locations.

Mīharo Murihiku Trust director Pauline Smith said the festival was popular with the public, as well as the artists themselves.

Every artist who attended the first two festivals has returned for a third year, Smith said.

“They all say that the manaakitanga is one of the things that draws them back, they are looked after so well. So that’s nice, we like to think about southern hospitality as a thing.”

Another attraction for the artists was the fact they get the unique opportunity to be in the same place at the same time and are able to share ideas while hanging out at night.

“They draw from each other,” Smith said.

Planning for this week’s event started a year ago and there were lots of logistical factors involved in making the event work, including securing the required wall space for artists to work on, Smith said.

Deow spotted places he thought would make good spaces for the artists and approached the building owners.

The festival is funded through grants from Community Trust South, the Invercargill Licensing Trust, ILT Foundation, the Invercargill City Council, and Creative New Zealand.

Resene has come on board to sponsor a lot of the paint, while other southern businesses have stepped in to help out, including Fat Bastard Pies who put together a ‘Friday Pie Day’ for the artists to enjoy.

On top of the street art, Invercargill’s He Waka Tuia is also hosting a companion exhibition that will showcase more than 50 original artworks from those taking part in the festival. Those pieces are available for purchase.

A map highlighting the locations of the CBD artwork being created can be picked up from He Waka Tuia. The public can vote for their favorite with a ‘people’s choice’ award handed out.

Source: The Southland Times – 5 December 2022

Other News