Khyber Pass volcanic mural to be unveiled

New Zealand artist Sara Hughes has had four helpers spray painting under her watch.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

New Zealand artist Sara Hughes has had four helpers spray painting under her watch.

A sprawling volcanic-themed mural is about to be unveiled on Watercare's Khyber Pass reservoir.

New Zealand artist Sara Hughes has spent the past week working on the piece at the top of Auckland's Mt Eden Rd.

The mural has required 240 litres of paint. But Hughes hasn't sprayed the reservoir by herself, she's had four workers assisting her.

A sprawling volcanic-themed mural is about to be unveiled on Watercare's Khyber Pass reservoir.
JAMES PASLEY/ FAIRFAX NZ

A sprawling volcanic-themed mural is about to be unveiled on Watercare's Khyber Pass reservoir.

"I've needed to stand back and watch because I need to see what's happening," Hughes said.

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Although rain has slowed the process, Hughes said she was excited about the project and has enjoyed people wandering up to her and asking her about the piece. 

The piece uses red, orange, pink and yellow and is evocative of Auckland's volcanic landscape.
JAMES PASLEY/ FAIRFAX NZ

The piece uses red, orange, pink and yellow and is evocative of Auckland's volcanic landscape.

"It's super exciting. There's traffic going past, people are going to walk and drive past it everyday and travellers might drive it only once, but they'll see it, and that's the difference between this and a gallery."

The piece uses red, orange, pink and yellow and is evocative of Auckland's volcanic landscape.

The paint used is different from normal aerosol spray cans, because it contains low volatile organic compounds which are solvents that can get released into the air as the paint dries.

Hughes said it doesn't provide the same "fine detail" but it worked well harnessing the roughness of the concrete wall.

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Although Hughes has worked on large public installations before, such as 'Heatwave' in Federation Square in Melbourne, this is the largest painting she's undertaken.

She said the piece will be up for five to 10 years.

The reservoir holds 21,400 cubic metres of water. 

The concept for the project came from the Uptown Business Association, which represents businesses in the Mount Eden area.

Hughes is hoping the piece will be completed by Sunday.

 - Stuff.co.nz

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