Building goes bush in the city

01:13, Jun 05 2010
jungle
GREEN ZONE: Chris Finlayson shows off his mural Urban Jungle on the wall of a city building next to the 1903 site.

Nature has reclaimed a part of Nelson city with the completion of the latest large-scale mural by Nelson artist Chris Finlayson.

Mr Finlayson finished the mural entitled Urban Jungle this week after starting the massive job in March. The mural was commissioned by Nelson businessman Tom Sturgess.

The native bush scene has taken over the entire wall of a building near the 1903 site.

Four birds have been painted into the dense green foliage of the mural and Mr Finlayson is challenging passers-by to see if they can find them.

It's the third large-scale mural in Nelson Mr Finlayson has worked on over the last eight months.

The last large artwork Mr Finlayson worked on was the restoration of his much-loved Aotearoa mural on Wakefield Quay.

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The artist also brightened up the wall of the On the Spot dairy at Victory Square last year by painting a scene using licorice allsorts, flax and planets. He said the mural, called Ko Nga Tangata, represents Victory's diverse community.

Mr Finlayson, who lives in Kotainga, Golden Bay, likes to get the public to help him paint his murals and Urban Jungle was no exception with a number of members of the public taking up the challenge and helping him in the early stages to paint his large green forest scene.

"It's great that people can have the ownership of them."

The region's wet weather made it a bit tricky to finish the project, but he had enjoyed working at the busy site near the Church Steps and bringing a "indigenous vegetation" back to the area.

Mr Finlayson said the community now owned the artwork which he hoped would be there and photographed for decades to come. "People don't come to Nelson to look at the architecture. If you look at the concept like that, it's a new landmark in town for tourists."

The Nelson Mail