Both established and budding artists from across the country are invited to get their creative juices flowing in a bid to display their talent.
The programme has had wide benefits: aspiring artists have shown off their work publicly, and the cabinets – previously the perfect canvas for would-be taggers – now beautify the streets and, in some cases, have become meaningful, iconic local landmarks.
While each cabinet is worthy of acknowledgement, Floyd Garland’s cabinet, on Wellington’s Britomart Street, is of special significance. It’s a tribute to his mother, who passed away earlier this year. The colourful cabinet mural was initially intended to be a maternal depiction of a woman holding her baby, but Floyd says the work morphed into an image of his mum.
“The image started to look more and more like my mum, and through the process I’ve been able to feel more connected to her,” he reflected.
Since completing the painting, Floyd has been commissioned to produce other art works. Something he’s very excited about and which bodes well for the young artist’s goal to make a career out of his passion.
Dunedin – the poet’s city
Victoria Heatherbell’s cabinet painting honours Dunedin’s special literary ranking. It also rallied together the community of Highgate, in Roslyn.
In 2014, Dunedin became New Zealand’s first UNESCO Creative City when it was granted ‘City of Literature’ status – only 19 cities around the world can boast this, and the privilege is one Victoria chose to honour with her work.
The cabinet features seven famous local poets from around the region: Charles Brasch; Hone Tuwhare; Lauris Edmond; John A Lee; Denis Glover; Janet Frame and James K Baxter.
Victoria was amazed by the community spirit the cabinet mural evoked. As she painted the piece she was delighted by the number of passers-by who would stop, sometimes daily, to discuss her progress and reminisce about the literary figures depicted.
“While from an aesthetic perspective, it is pleasing to see otherwise drab cabinets transformed into works of art, it’s also wonderful that the art project allows artists like Floyd and Victoria to contribute meaningful works of art to their neighbourhoods,” says Chorus.
For more information on the Chorus Cabinet Art Programme, or for information on how you can become involved, visit our cabinet art blog at https://blog.chorus.co.nz/cabinet-art-gallery.