ROA's penguin a tourist drawcard

Last updated 13:00 15/01/2014
Gary Wakefield

INTERNATIONAL APPEAL: Belgian-based international street artist ROA’s mural of a penguin on the Boulder Apparel building on Bridge St.

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An oversized penguin, flat on its back, in Nelson's Bridge St bar strip, has curious onlookers intrigued.

The mural, on the front wall of Boulder Apparel, is the latest work by Belgium artist ROA.

He created it last evening after finishing the huge seal and squid on two walls of the nearby Whitby House.

A campaign, organised by Free House co-owner Eelco Boswijk and urban art promoter George Shaw, raised $10,000 to bring ROA to Nelson.

"We are fortunate that ROA has come to Nelson and done three amazing pieces of work," Mr Shaw said today.

"It will be something Lonely Planet puts in its next guide, they will say it is one of the things to do in Nelson. ROA has such a global following [that] people will travel to Nelson to see this. He has done something amazing."

ROA was known for depicting animals in interesting poses.

"He puts animals in poses you would not expect," said Mr Shaw. The penguin is an example. "I love his work, it's fabulous."

ROA now heads to Christchurch to paint the ceiling of the bird hall in the city museum.

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