Artist's street cred turns heads
A capital approach to taggingJONO GALUSZKA
When a disgruntled man started talking to Hana Tawhai about a piece of street art she was painting in Highbury, she thought it was positive - until he said he had called the police.
She had walked past the wall in Havelock Ave and seen it looking tired, so decided to do something about it.
But one neighbour had a few gripes.
"He came and said he had rung the city council and I thought ‘great, I want them to see what I'm doing'," Miss Tawhai said.
"He then said I was in really big trouble and the police were coming, and then I started getting really nervous.
"I really didn't want to get arrested - again."
Miss Tawhai did not end up in the back of the paddy wagon - the officer had just been part of an operation in Roslyn to tackle tagging with street art - but instead has found herself working with art collective Passionart and picking up paid work painting murals.
She was also keen to start a programme with the city council to get more street art around the city.
But her main goal was to cover up tagging in Highbury and Awapuni.
"I was just out and about and I started noticing heaps of tagging and graffiti, and I started taking pictures of it."
Miss Tawhai used to live in Wellington, has spent time with renowned street artists BMD and has street art on walls in that city and New Plymouth.
She said she had "spot painted" over tagging in parts of the city, but was keen to do something on a bigger scale.
Palmerston North could do with adopting the capital's approach to tagging, Miss Tawhai said.
"In Wellington, people deal with tagging by painting over it with a mural.
"It looks good, people pay for it and no-one complains."
Not that she holds a grudge against the man who called the police.
"I love that guy."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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