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There's some new art in town

Wednesday 7 December, 2022

The meaning behind two new art scapes around our city is simple – to enjoy a fun highlight on the walk home from school or work.

Two Tairāwhiti artists are behind the new murals painted on Chorus cabinets. One on the corner of Matthews Road in Kaiti and one on Gladstone Road, near Gisborne Girls High School.

Council reached out to local artists and worked with Chorus to ensure Gisborne cabinets were included in their Cabinet Art Programme for 2022.

As well as providing a bright piece of art to look at, the murals showcase local artists’ work and beautify our streets. A bonus is they are respected by others and there is a notable reduction in vandalism.

Each artist has transformed the dark green metal cabinets which house telecommunications equipment.

There are six to be painted this summer and add to other ones already painted in this region.

Hoea! Gallery and Art Centre directors Melanie Tangaere Baldwin and Nikora Te Kahu were contracted to do the first two this summer.

Melanie says her piece on the Matthews Road corner is called E Rere.

“It’s about the joy of flight, of movement and the pursuit of colour.”

Nikora says hers is called Awhi, which celebrates Whanaungatanga (relationship, kinship, sense of family connection) and Manaakitanga (hospitality, kindness, generosity, support) and can be found on Gladstone Road.

Council Cultural Activities Manager Pene Walsh says she’s delighted that top artists Melanie and Nikora have got their brushes out.

“Especially as they are busy running their gallery and providing art-based opportunities for rangatahi throughout Tairāwhiti.

“They really are inspirational and their work on these cabinets is cheerful and fun.”

Previous works by the artists include Waikirikiri Park and the Skate Park in Ruatorea, with upcoming work on the basketball courts by Waikanae Beach.

Chorus Community Relations Manager Jo Seddon says it has been great to bring the Cabinet Art Initiative back to Gisborne.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing what else Gisborne artists come up with for our cabinets.”

There are a few more cabinets in Elgin to be painted. Any artist with a strong link to the suburb can put forward a proposal. To find out more contact Customer Services by calling 0800 653 800 or .

Hoea! Gallery and Art Centre director Melanie Tangaere Baldwin

Hoea! Gallery and Art Centre director Melanie Tangaere Baldwin transforms a plain Chorus cabinet into a bright piece of art on the corner of Matthews Road, with her finished product below.

Chorus cabinet Art 2022