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'Awakening a taniwha on Tory St'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Dream Girls Art Collective has completed a new mural on a Tory Street fence in Te Aro, Wellington, Courtenay Carpark an affiliate of Reading Cinemas and Reading Courtenay Central.

Inspired by film and the creative mind, the mural seeks to represent the imaginative process involved in making a film, and the experience viewers go through when watching one.

Dream Girls, Miriama Grace-Smith, Gina Kiel and Xoë Hall formed the Collective in September last year to turn areas of the city into upbeat pieces of art. Gina said that they wanted to create an authentic interpretation of a film-based journey for this project.

"We have the face of a person expanded across the wall, and in between are different ideas and elements making up the internal experience. The size and composition dynamics created an interesting challenge, as the wall is rarely seen as a whole, requiring different sections which tell their own story."

Starting on the left of the mural is the face and hair of a person, which merges into a film reel before transforming into a taniwha head.

Gina continues, "The taniwha head, important Māori symbolism, represents creative drive behind the consciousness. From the top of the taniwha the head the ideas and emotions flow out into two seas meeting and symbolising collaboration as the waka have people on board working together to navigate this journey."

The mural then proceeds to represent ideas splashing out of the sea, ready to share the experience with the world projecting out from the eye of the person, towards an audience who show a process of awakening.

Reading Courtenay Central is thrilled to be working with the Dream Girls to bring to life its new mural inspired by the journey of film.

"The Dream Girls’ work is more than just a mural, it is storytelling. We are very excited to watch this story and journey of film come to life for Wellingtonians to enjoy," says Lena Kretzschmann-Hill, Director of Asset Management for Reading Courtenay Central.

"When commissioning this mural, we wanted it to spark the memories and joy that comes with watching films. The story the mural takes you through represents both the process that goes into making a film and the various experiences the viewer can go through when watching," continues Lena.

Each artist has profound film-related memories from their childhood, which factored into their design. 

Gina remembers drawing images of paused cartoon characters, Xoë used to enjoy hiring movies from videos stores, while Miriama used to spend time at the New Zealand film archive, where her Dad worked.

"We’d often be there during the school holidays, watching old New Zealand films such as Once Were Warriors and UTU. The dark office hallways were great for playing and spooking each over in afterwards," Miriama said.

Having worked together after collaborating on a mural at a 2/57 Willis co-working space, the trio says that they decided to become official partners after having fun and enjoying the opportunities to brighten up Wellington.

Xoë says "Sometimes we work like the 'Exquisite Corpse’ - a surrealist drawing game - where we each do one part and bring them together for a unique, and often surprising creation. But at other times, we shape something that looks like one artist has completed it."

"Every project is a new opportunity to experiment and combine our creative mahi. We thank Reading Courtenay Central for giving us the opportunity to continue to brighten up Wellington and explore an ever-changing puzzle of artistic possibilities."

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