Invercargill hero Burt Munro remembered in Graham Hoete mural
A mural paying tribute to the local legend, Burt Munro, a has popped up in Invercargill and is already catching the eye of passers-by.
Artist Graham Hoete is painting a series of murals in rural communities throughout the country.
Pushing through the weather with rain, frosts and cool temperatures meant the Invercargill mural was especially challenging for the artist.
"I'm always up for a challenge," he said.
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Making the most of the pockets of fine weather, he was happy with the progress of the piece, even if it meant working late in the evenings, he said.
The piece was a portrait of motorcycle racer Burt Munro, representing his memory with him in the cloud, and the Takitimu Mountains below.
The mural was a tribute to Munro's achievement and represented his "Kiwi can-do attitude", Hoete said.
Hoete worked with Farmlands staff to create the design, which, for Invercargill, always came back to Burt Munro, he said.
The mural has already caught the eyes of passers-by who had honked their horns while driving past or stopped to drop off food, including oysters, Hoete said.
The official unveiling took place on Saturday with E Hayes & Sons bringing out some bikes and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt putting on a lunch.
The project aimed to breathe life back into rural communities with the project Heart of the Community by Farmlands.
Farmlands brand manager and project manager Brooke Bayliss-Browne said Hoete was humble and passionate, which made his work perfect for what the company was trying to achieve.
"Graham's artist skills are what brings the magic," she said.
"You just connect with the eyes of Burt.'
Invercargill was the second of 15 murals to be painted in the country in a year-long project.
Each artwork would be different and meaningful to the town, Bayliss-Browne said.
The project started in Paeroa where he painted a mural of horses running through the town, but before then Hoete established himself internationally with popular murals in the United States.
His work includes a mural of Kiwi basketball star Steven Adams in downtown Oklahoma City and music legend Prince in his hometown of Chanhassen, Minnesota.
"I do it because I love and enjoy it," Hoete said.
His style was spray paint photo-realism, but he had been into drawing and painting since he was a child, he said.