Katikati: every wall tells a story

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At the end of October Katikati Village once again hosted its New Zealand Mural Contest and Arts Festival. The 2017 theme was “The Future is our Children”. ARTbop’s Lee Switzer recorded the creation of the mural boards in his earlier article in this section.

Katikati is an historic settlement town of the Bay of Plenty. Originally focused around the river road and the water it has over more recent years outgrown it’s appreciation of the heavy vehicle traffic on the state highway bisecting the traditional strip shopping area of its village.

It could have accepted its non-descript character but Katikati is anything but non-descript. It is a thriving and successful area economically. It has a highly regarded secondary education college, a ticking community centre and an eclectic and active arts community. It’s become a place its residents can be proud of and provides them with a close-knit and interesting lifestyle within easy driving distance of the urban centres of Tauranga and Auckland.

Over the years I’ve been in Katikati when international visitors have been enquiring at the isite about tours of the public art – the murals. Long before Paradox, the Mount street art and an awareness of the word “Banksy” Katikati has been parading it’s history on its walls. It’s easy to deride the town because these have focused on the local history, local economy and have often had an almost one dimensional and naïve painting style.

What’s been the viewer attraction has always been that they are there, that there a lot of them and that they are a valid and real insight into the life and history of the town and the people. When you snigger about the murals (or the Haiku Pathway) just remember what Shakespeare and Dickens were: purveyors of popular culture.

The finalists of this year’s mural contest were selected from an open competition. There was then a public paint off on large boards in various commercial locations around the Katikati township. Switzer’s earlier article gives you an overview of the final process. Here are some of his images of the finished works.

Below are the Nicholson Hudson and Shane Walker murals.

Nicholas Hudson was not able to begin his larger work until 3 days after the other artist. All the artists worked inside a business. Seen here in the Talisman Hotel, Nicholson has nearly completed his full scale mural.

 

 

Shane Walker won the 2015 Mural and People’s Choice. He already has several wall paintings in Katikati. His painting venue was at Café @ The Balcony.

The seven murals for the 2017 contest were collected from various businesses and displayed in the Katikati War Memorial Hall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Highway 2 from the North to Tauranga passes through the centre of Katikati. During this holiday season it is particularly busy but it well worth a stop. The area around the town is easy walking. Once on the Haiku Pathway (set in a large green open space behind the town) it is also just a stroll.

In the centre of the main street is the renovated former fire station – now the town Museum. Katikati has the distinction of opening a museum well before its larger neighbour Tauranga which, after years of “discussion” has made another decision to proceed.

There are several cafes, bakery-cafes, vintage and collectable shops, fashion clothing and those retail outlets basic to small-town New Zealand.Harry Maddox the jeweller on the main street also exhibits the art of local creatives and has a selection of original art and artisan product for sale along with their often self-manufactured jewellery. There are also clean and well maintained toilets within the isite.

If you drive SH2 from Waihi to Katikati-Tauranga you pass through the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge. There are walks and cycle pathways in this historic area. One of my friends told me he drove an international visitor through there who immediately asked if they could turn round and do it again. The road is narrow and is used by heavy transport and well as smaller traffic so make sure you keep left and keep your speed down as the road twists and turns.

Inland Katikati is not far from the coast. Make time to turn off and visit beautiful Waihi Beach. No matter what time of the year Waihi Beach is worth a visit and you’ll be surprised by the cafes, retail and gallery you’ll find in the village.

And if you’re here in January 2018; Katikati hosts its annual Avocado Food & Wine Festival. This is a major event for the district based at the Uretara Domain on Saturday 13th January 2018 11am to 6pm with a spectrum of activities including Live bands – The Flying Kiwis and Kokomo; cooking demonstrations and free children’s entertainment. Early bird tickets $20. Gate Sales $25. www.katikatiavofest.weebly.com

If you’re an international tourist or a visitor please take youe time. We like to think you could spend your entire New Zealand holiday in our region ! Drive safe and have a wonderful Bay of Plenty experience!

In a previous article  http://artbop.co.nz/nz-mural-contest-art-festival-katikati-open-air-art-2017-future-children/#prettyPhoto all but two of the artists are shown as they progress with turning their smaller painting into a large 1200mm x 2400 mural.

Katikati Mural Participants and Completed Mural Finals Text and Photography by Lee Switzer (with additional text by Rosemary Balu)

Lee Switzer: Lee is a regular contributor to ARTbop – photo essays, articles and poetry. Lee is multi-talented producing sought-after images of local artists and exhibitions. He has been an archival photographer around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty for some years – the details of this body of work are below. You can find examples of Lee’s contributions in our ARTbop archives.

More photos by Lee Switzer
at http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/en/tauranga_city_libraries_history/topics/show/2538-article-index-lee-switzer

If you would like to submit a contribution to ARTbop you can forward your submission to info@artbop.co.nz as a text document. Images are to be forwarded as low resolution jpgs (about 750 kb maximum) not included in the body of the article. However, please indicate in your text where each image is to appear and indicate the image you would prefer as the featured slider header.

ARTbop’s policy is to publish original content. If your contribution has been published elsewhere please indicate the publication and the date of publication. If your submission contains the work of others please provide accurate attributions.

ARTbop is aware of its obligation to maintain freedom of speech and creativity but ARTbop retains the right not to publish any submission and to edit where content is perceived by ARTbop to be factually wrong, unnecessarily malicious, defamatory or hate speech.

AND DON’T FORGET THE AFFORDABLE ART & ARTISAN FAIR WILL BE BACK ON THE LAST SUNDAY IN JANUARY 2018 AT THE BLACK SHEEP BAR & GRILL, WHAKAMARAMA!  A very big thank you to everyone who participated in the inaugural market, the wonderful visitors, the businesses who supported us getting the Fair off the ground and the team at the Black Sheep Bar & Grill!  Check out Birgitt Shannon’s video of that day.

 

If you would like to submit a contribution to ARTbop you can forward your submission to editor@artbop.co.nz as a text document. Images are to be forwarded as low resolution jpgs (about 600 kb maximum) not included in the body of the article. However, please indicate in your text where each image is to appear and indicate the image you would prefer as the featured slider header.

ARTbop’s policy is to publish original content. If your contribution has been published elsewhere please indicate the publication and the date of publication. If your submission contains the work of others please provide accurate attributions.

ARTbop is aware of its obligation to maintain freedom of speech and creativity but ARTbop retains the right not to publish any submission and to edit where content is perceived by ARTbop to be factually wrong, unnecessarily malicious, defamatory or hate speech. Meri Kirihimete  2017 from the ARTbop team

 

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