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Onewhero students create artwork for Tuakau Library

A mural created by Onewhero Area School students will be displayed in the Tuakau Library entrance, as part of an initiative to tell the Waikato story and the history of the area. 

“We wanted to enhance the library’s interior and to create a warm, welcoming environment that reflects the local community and its history,” says Angela Parquist, Customer Delivery Manager. 

“We feel very excited and privileged to have local students design artwork for our library and to create a more inviting atmosphere.”

Charles Jordan, a local artist and Onewhero Area School art teacher, welcomed the opportunity to work with some of his students to create a mural for the library. He researched different concept ideas until he settled on one that would work the best.

Seven Year 9 and Year 10 students created the series of three separate, but related, panels as part of the middle school’s Service Day’s programme late last year. The focus of the programme is to provide the students with the opportunity, in the last few days of the school year, to contribute to some aspect of our local community. 

The mural portrays the journey of the Tainui waka across the Pacific, from Polynesia to the shores of Aotearoa, and finally leading to the first Maori settlements on the river, and the final resting place of the waka in Kawhia. It is made up of an arrangement of triangular and diamond shaped panels, with each panel depicting an aspect or stage in the journey. The panels feature two prominent realistically painted images of the waka, one in the rough seas of the Pacific and the other in the tranquillity of the river. These are surrounded by smaller images, which are rendered in the style of contemporary Maori artist’s such as John Bevan Ford. These brightly coloured panels incorporate whakiro and kowhaiwhai patterns and motifs.

Kaumatua will bless the artwork tomorrow (Thursday 24 March), at 1.30pm.