Culture Canvas

Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival is pleased to announce ‘Culture Canvas’, co-directed by Hawke’s Bay based artist and event producer Cinzah Merkens, known locally and internationally for his large-scale murals and producing Napier’s Sea Walls Artists for Oceans mural festivals.  The event is a pilot project for a large scale mural project, celebrating Hastings cultural diversity that will start this year with the first three of many murals, focusing on Hastings people and their stories.

The festival consists of three prominent murals being produced in Hastings CBD, featuring 3 internationally recognised and celebrated muralists.

Poihakena Ngawati also known as TECHS is of Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi decent, based in Auckland. Poi has circumnavigated the globe as a voyager sailing a traditional waka hourua, he’s painted murals across New Zealand and the pacific, recently producing a piece for Sea Walls in Maui, Hawaii.  Poi paints murals which honour and reflect his background as well as the people in which the murals are located, celebrating New Zealand Māori and Pacific Island culture.  

Another mural site to keep an eye out for is the facade of Hastings City Library, facing Eastbourne Street.   This wall will feature the work of Erika Pearce a multi-disciplined artist and designer born and raised in Auckland. Her passion for women, culture and nature inspires her vibrant artwork.

Growing up in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, Erika developed a deep respect for the cultures around her from a young age. She creates every piece with a lot of research, understanding and guidance. Her 2018 exhibition, I Am Wahine explored feminine beauty and strength in modern women. She firmly believes that every woman deserves to not only feel beautiful, but to also own their beauty. To be proud of who they are and where they come from. She works with real women to visually tell their stories.

Her artwork can be found across New Zealand as well as in United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Fiji, Indonesia and in the private homes of collectors around the world.

Our third artist is George Rose, predominantly known for her vibrant large-scale murals, this Melbourne-based artist has the ability to create masterpieces across various art forms including digital design, multi-media and sculpture.  Her work expresses a great sense of movement and colour, a marrying of gestural mark making, pattern, illustration and typography.

George will be painting a mural on the side of 304 Market Street North from the 12th - 17th of October.

 Stay tuned for more announcements and details on and @aai_nz on instagram

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