‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’ – Henry David Thoreau.
Although I’ve lived in Wellington for over a year now, it’s only since I came back from my six weeks away that I’ve really begun to notice the large amount of amazing street art that decorates walls and buildings everywhere you look in the city. Since I started looking out for it (with this blog post in mind), I literally cannot believe I missed so much before.
Yesterday, I went for a walk after work to seek out this art and photograph it. I had my DSLR in hand and to begin with, I felt a bit of a lemon wandering the streets and taking so many photos when normally I pace quickly along, making the commute home with barely a glance left or right, just like everyone else around me who is hungry for dinner and just wants to collapse in front of the TV to chill after a busy day in the office.
However, I ended up walking for about two and a half hours, and I actually started to feel like a proper tourist again in this city that I’ve called home for the past twelve months. When I happened upon a work colleague on his way to buy food for dinner, he asked me teasingly why I was ‘carrying a massive camera and looking like a tourist’. I shrugged, slightly embarrassed, then explained about this blog post and how cool the street art was that I’d seen, and how I wanted to share it with the people who read this blog.
Without further ado, here is just a small sample of the street art that abounds in Wellington – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Disclaimer: I should add, I made up the names for these artworks as I see them. They are not official titles.
1. The Irish Leprechaun
Above: This artwork is located behind Pizza Pomodoro and Golding’s Free Dive Bar, just off Leeds Street. It was the first artwork I came across yesterday evening.
2. The Girl with the Wind Blown Hair
Above: Around the corner from the Irish Leprechaun, I found this massive artwork on a wall overlooking a Wilson’s car park opposite The Milk Crate Cafe (on Ghuznee Street).
3. Bold Colours and Ivy
Above: I like the ivy creeping up the wall, adding another dimension to this piece. It was lucky to have the pigeons around, pecking the ground in front of the wall. This piece was located just off Cuba Street, in the car park opposite Duke Carvell’s.
4. Gasper and the Kiss
Above: Found on a wall just across from Duke Carvell’s. It had loads of bold colours and again, that ivy climbing the wall next to the image.
5. Behind Barbed Wire
Above: I couldn’t find a way in to capture the whole piece of this art, but I decided I kind of liked the barbed wire in front, almost keeping this creepy guy prisoner!! Located on Swan Lane, between Cuba Street and Marion Street.
6. Questions Answered, Answers Questioned
Above: This piece was located on the side of some kind of church on Marion Street. I quite like the philosophical quote.
7. Give Bush An Inch…
Above: Getting political. This was a small piece located on a step on the corner of Marion Street and Vivian Street – I had to get really close for the artwork to fill the frame, so don’t be fooled. You really have to look out for it!
8. Buck Tooth
Above: I’ve walked past this artwork a fair few times and always found it a bit disconcerting. It’s located opposite Havana Bar, next door to the Lighthouse Cinema.
9. Chasing The Hare
Above: Just round the corner from the Lighthouse Cinema, this is another piece of artwork that I’ve passed several times and never really stopped to consider. Taking time to look at it, I found the whole thing a bit creepy – the savage expression on the dogs face is actually quite scary!
10. Fidel Castro
Above: I found this one just behind Fidel’s Cafe on Cuba Street. I love the colours – the green and blues swirling into each other in the close up image above and then the wider angle revealing the whole piece of art, complete with the portrait of Castro.
11. Playing The Trumpet
Above: Located on the side of the Rogue and Vagabond, on Garrett Street. This slightly smaller artwork sums up the pub it’s painted on – jazzy, colourful and lively with good craft beer!
12. Abstract Alley
Above: Just off the bottom end of Taranaki Street, this abstract piece of artwork livens up a yellow wall. Of all the artwork I saw yesterday, this is actually one of my favourites, despite the lack of multi-colour. I like the simplicity of it, the cool monotone colouring and how inconspicuous it is (I almost missed it as I walked past on the opposite side of the road).
13. Shark Attack
Above: Possibly Wellington’s most famous piece of street art, by the artist duo BMD. They have numerous murals and artworks dotted around the city (including the piece at the header of this post) and it is this piece that first got me noticing that Wellington is covered in art everywhere you look! This wall was designed to raise awareness about shark-finning. It is located on the corners of Chaffers and Cable Streets.
14. On the Corner of A Hotel…
Above: Artwork isn’t just at head height, there’s plenty to see when you look up as well. This last piece is located on the aptly named Museum Art Hotel and overlooks Te Papa Museum on Cable Street. I chose a wider angle shot to show it in scale with the buildings around it, and to get some of the sky in!
‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.’ – Pablo Picasso.