Visitors work to brighten up the city
A monochrome corner of Bridge St is being turned into a haven of colour, courtesy of two touring Italians, the new owner of the premises and an Australian graffiti artist.
Paradox arts venue and bar, previously The Phat Club, now sports a wall mural by Australian illustrator, tattooist and graffiti artist Sofles, described as one of Australia's most watched contemporary artists, and a Frida Kahlo-inspired frieze in the outdoor courtyard by one of two Italians working at the venue, who is also making burgers.
Paradox owner Gail Little, who is a fan of the surrealist Mexican painter and the movie biopic of Kahlo's life, knew the courtyard would suit a mural of the lush style she made famous.
Errico Duca from Aucona in Italy's mid east coast and Lorenzo Minguzzi from Ravenna, near Venice, who work at Paradox making burgers, have obliged by also turning their hand to interior decorating.
Duca has picked up a paintbrush to create the scene from the movie etched in Little's mind, and she couldn't be happier.
Adding to the buzz was the addition this week on an alleyway wall of the creation by Sofles, who was in Nelson after contributing to the street art festival in Christchurch, Oi You! presents Rise.
"It's amazing for Nelson to have this level of art here," she said.
Little said she took over the venue a year ago and was inspired to create the colourful theme by visiting Australian Creative Communities workshop host David Engwicht.
The former maths teacher who also once worked with the whanau class at Nelson Intermediate, said she wanted Paradox to be a venue for a variety of performing arts, including theatre and music by touring bands.
"I always wanted it to be more of an arts place, with an outside burger bar. I'm trying to help brighten up the street," Little said.
Duca and Minguzzi both walked in off the street one day, and ended up working there.
Duca said Nelson had turned out to be "the best city in New Zealand so far". "I was in Sydney before and then Auckland, but I wanted to run away for some peace so went to Wellington but even that was busy, so I asked, ‘which place is best in New Zealand to be relaxed, has a natural lifestyle and also some nightlife'.
"Everyone said: ‘go to Nelson', so I did."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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