03 Apr Paradox
We got amongst Paradox.
First of all, man it was nice to be home. Back to the beautiful Beach’s, fantastic food and great people of Tauranga. Typically any reason is a good reason to go home, but for Street Art, well, it was a no brainer.
With much of the Art set to be completed in the Indoor Art Gallery Exhibition and Outdoor installations prior to the launch, I was anxious to go and see if I could catch any of the lineup still painting. With fate on my side I stumbled across one of New Zealand’s best and good friend, Charles Williams, almost straight away. It was no surprise when I heard he had consulted with local iwi prior to this event to learn of historical significance within the area. He often uses his Art as a platform to explore cultural identity, narrative, history and significance. And he’s pretty good at it too. His piece titled “messenger” honours a kaitiaki, a special messenger in the form of a morepork/owl known as Whango.
Its such a great piece and glad I got to be present in its process as well as the last stages of Fin Tan, Askews, Lucy McLachlan and Jacob Yikes pieces.
Paradox Opening Night took centre stage in the heart of Tauranga – The Tauranga Art Gallery. Gushing at its seams with hundreds of people, the atmosphere was incredible. With walls unceremoniously adorned in large scale murals and lined with the infamous collection of 22 Banksy pieces owned by the Co. organiser and Partner of the festival, George Shaw was definitely the draw card of the night.
I have to give a shout out to Tauranga Art Gallery for the Artist Perspective night – “Graffiti Vs. Street Art” with guest speaker Askew. It’s nights like those that remind you just how fluid, flexible and freeing the world of Graffiti and Street Art can be.
Even though the nature of Paradox was very different and unfamiliar to what Street Art means to us, we definitely can appreciate all the hard work behind the scenes to make a massive event like this happen. So credit to Tauranga City Council, Oi You and the countless others who supported something like this in Tauranga.