Newtown bus stop now pretty in pink

Pop artists creates Newtown 'bus boutique'

BRITTANY MANN
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014
Xoe Hall
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ
BEAUTIFIED BUS STOP: Wellington pop artist Xoe Hall in the bus stop she has painted in Newtown as part of a council-backed project.

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Where most might have seen a blot on the urban landscape, Xoe Hall saw a blank canvas.

The 28-year-old pop artist has transformed a bleak concrete bus stop in Newtown into a candy-cane pink confection she calls her "bus stop boutique".

It is her second such beautification project, at the behest of Wellington City Council, after a similar job on an Aro Valley bus stop in 2011.

Hall, who is "mainly self-taught and likes it that way", finished the Rintoul St mural on Sunday after four full days of painting last week.

"I was dodging the rain, but had a few lovely days to paint."

She pitched the idea to the council at the start of May. Since painting the Aro Valley mural, she had had an appetite to transform more of the old bus stops, whose width and openness made them perfect for murals, she said.

"I like the idea of revamping the old instead of getting all modern."

The eye-catching bus stop is "just around the corner" from Hall's house, and incorporates elements from her life - one of her sisters has green hair and the other makes top hats like those depicted in the mural.

Hall said she wanted to tailor the boutique to suit her interpretation of the community.

"Newtown reminds me of how Cuba St used to be 10 years ago - multicultural, lots of artists, musicians, exciting things. So in my own little way, I put that into the visual thing."

Hall has been painting murals since 2009, where she first adorned the courtyard of Bodega bar in Ghuznee St with a gypsy. She has since painted more than 50 murals, mainly around Wellington.

She had already received positive feedback about her latest work, both in real life and online.

"It's been crazy, everyone's been amazing. When I was painting, everyone who walked past made beautiful comments. I was stoked - they'd smile and say it had brightened their day.

"It makes it all worthwhile. It keeps you going."

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- The Dominion Post

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