SINCE 2010 CHORUS has run an art programme using its cabinets as canvases to discourage graffiti and brighten up the environment. These otherwise drab metal cabinets provide the perfect base for would-be taggers so instead of tempting them, the company offers the opportunity for talented local artists to create meaningful works in prominent public spaces.

To date, over 800 cabinets have been turned into symbolic murals embellishing communities nationwide.

Chorus decided to show its support for diversity and inclusion by creating a Rainbow Cabinet Art competition for members and crusaders of the LGBTI+ network. Four cabinets were identified, one each in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington.

The call for submissions was made. At the beginning of October, Chorus reviewed the wonderful designs that had come from all over the country.

A group of individuals at Chorus had the tough job of choosing the winners. The works are yet to be completed, but here is a taster of what is to come in Auckland and Christchurch.

Auckland artist, Sharron Woodward, was selected for her ‘Tree of Life’ design and the wonderful Pride colours which spread and grow throughout the branches of the tree. Sharron says “I was inspired to do the ‘Tree of Life’ after my 16 year old son told me he was transgender.

“Painting this picture helped me to see the growth of my child into the person she is today. It also symbolises the many colourful people in the world.”

Christchurch based sign writer and artist, Anne McDonald, said the idea of designing a mural to celebrate the LGBTI+ community really appealed to her.

“I have several members of my immediate family and a number of friends who are part of the LGBTI+ network.

"I've never understood how a person can be judged on the colour of their skin, their race, religion or sexual preference. None of those things make any sense to me,” she says.

These works of art will come to life on cabinets over the summer.

'Tree of Life' sketch by Sharron Woodward

'Pride' sketch by Anne McDonald