Serious Message Behind Beautiful Mural

February 14, 2019

There’s a beautiful mural gracing the side of the Waikanae Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park’s kitchen area thanks to local artists Rhi Gardiner and Trish Brown.

Calling Guardians of the Oceans (Karangatia Nga Kaitaki o te Moana) was painted as part of the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans Festival and one of 15 murals done around the district by 27 artists. Artists for Oceans is an arm of Hawaii-based PangeaSeed Foundation and is a public art programme that spreads the word about ocean conservation around the world.

The mural is on a 15m long wall beside the playground which leant them to including an underwater theme that depicted identifiable sea creatures who were forced to live with pollution.


“A forlorn female floats aimlessly, trapped by pollution,” write Rhi and Trish in explaining their artwork. “Feeling unable to make a difference, she gives up trying. She represents the disempowered attitude many individual succumb to, consequently falling into thoughtless habits that have vast impacts on the oceans. We encourage each person to reconnect, and to realise how vital our individual role is in saving our oceans. The figure calls to the young guardians who are filled with enthusiastic optimism, our hope for the future.

We call for everyone to empower themselves and adhere to their youthful creativity and energy. Together we can preserve our planet’s oceans.”

Artists from Switzerland, South Africa, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Hawaii and around New Zealand were hosted at the Waikanae Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park for the Tairawhiti festival.

Working with 200-plus international contemporary artists the programme has created nearly 300 murals in 12 countries since 2014. PangeaSeed Foundation aims to empower individuals and communities to create meaningful environmental change for oceans through ARTivism, education and science.

The street murals around the city and up the coast have attracted plenty of attention and been admired by thousands. The festival was funded by Eastland Community Trust.