Whanganui’s St Mary’s primary school won the Resene Mural Masterpieces competition in the year 7-13 age category for 2020. Their prize was a $500 voucher for Resene paints, as well as many accolades.
The mural takes pride of place on the outside wall of the library at St Mary’s, facing the main entrance into the school for all to enjoy.
“It is a visual representation of their turangawaewae, our place to stand, with faith at the centre. Ko Ruapehu te maunga (the mountain Ruapehu), ko Whanganui te awa (Whanganui the River), ko Hato Mere to Kura (St Mary’s is the school),” explained art teacher Nadine Kaua.
Other images include the cross, a teacher and students listening to Scripture, and a kotare (kingfisher).
“The kotare was the only element I painted completely myself. It is an important kaitiaki (guardian) for my whanau,” said Ms Kaua.
The sketching and scaling to size was over five separate panels sized 1200mm by 2400mm each. Lined up together, the finished size of the mural is 6 metres by 2.4metres.
The planning started in February this year. Twelve students were involved, working together for two hours each Friday. Despite eight weeks of lockdown putting them behind schedule, it was decided not to rush the completion because of the preciousness of the taonga.
In November, 2016, the school won the same class category with an impressive mural depicting Our Lady. This hangs in the school hall.