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Art Flags Project rollout begins with a taste of summer

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

For five-year-old Jeanie Hicks, there’s nothing better than an ice cream cone, piled high with her favourite flavours, on a hot summer’s day.

Jeanie’s artwork, depicting a little girl with a huge ice cream, is the first of 88 unique art flags designed by locals to fly along Nelson’s central city streets as part of the Art Flags Project.

A collaboration between the Nelson City Council and Arts Council Nelson, 529 artworks were submitted to the project, from which a final 88 were chosen by Council’s art selection panel and Iwi advisers.

The flags will begin to appear throughout the city over the next few days, starting outside Civic House on Trafalgar St today, where Jeanie, the youngest artist to submit a design, raised her flag with the help of Mayor Rachel Reese.

Designs submitted by Ngāti Kuia and Ngāti Koata, two of Te Tau Ihu’s eight iwi also feature among the chosen flags, which range in subject matter from depictions of native birds and scenic vistas to cats with laser eyes.

"The project has showcased what an outstanding array of creative talent we have in this community," Mayor Reese said.

"From the mahi toi submitted by Iwi through to children’s drawings, fine art and abstract pieces, the Arts Flag Project is a celebration of Nelson’s diverse community and local arts scene."

Ice cream aficionado Jeanie had a confession to make about her drawing - "I didn’t draw this for the competition, I drew it because I like ice cream."

It was her mother, Rebekah Malthus, who entered it into the Arts Flag Project, saying she knew Jeanie’s drawing would be a perfect fit.

"It really symbolises happy childhood memories of summer holidays."

The art flags will hang from the FlagTrax street poles, which allow flags to be easily swapped out at ground level, during periods between event promotions.

When events are on, the flags will be taken down. Each time they are put back up, they will be in a different position, creating an outdoor revolving art gallery.

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