Australian artist uses iconic Jacinda Ardern image to spread 'warmth and acceptance'
An iconic image of Jacinda Ardern following the Christchurch mosque attacks now has a home in Melbourne, Australia.
Artist Loretta Lizzio used her paintbrush to share a message of "welcomeness, warmth and acceptance".
The image of Ardern embracing a Muslim woman following the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks spread around the world, even adorning the side of the world's tallest building in Dubai.
Now, Lizzio has brought the iconic image to life on a silo in one of Melbourne's "most multi-cultural suburbs".
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She told Stuff the artwork "couldn't be more fitting for this area".
Standing out as a pillar of hope on the Tinning Street silos and overlooking the streets of Brunswick, Lizzio said the mural has already garnered a lot of attention.
Over 10 days, she went to work with the aim of making people feel "okay and better".
She explained how a number of people approached her during the days leading up to its completion, thanking her for making their day and making them feel better.
A project weeks in the making, Lizzio believes the mural sends an important message of love and unity, especially at a time where there's "still so much separation in the world".
"I think it's important because hate crimes are a global issue and this mural would have been fitting all over the world."
Lizzio explained the artwork isn't just about Ardern, it's also about what the image represented. She believes the actions of the Prime Minister following the aftermath of the attacks showed "such courage and genuine empathy for people".
"She's just someone that I think every leader needs to aspire to be a little more like," she told Stuff.
The project received over $11,750 in crowdfunding in just over a day when it was announced in April.
The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the region's sustainable Nightingale apartment projects.