No shortage of canvases for Mr G

EMOTIONAL UNVEILING: Kate Walker (right), sister of Victoria Cross recipient Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu whose portrait features in a new Gisborne mural that was unveiled on Saturday, is greeted by the artist Graham Hoete.

HUNDREDS of sheds, water tanks and houses along the East Coast would be adorned with spray-painted portraits if street artist Graham Hoete took up every request in the wake of the unveiling of his Lowe Street mural.

The unveiling of the Farmlands Co-operative mural that features East Coast locations such as Tolaga Bay wharf, Mount Hikurangi and Rere Falls attracted a large gathering on Saturday morning.

Among the crowd was Kate Walker, sister of posthumous Victoria Cross recipient Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu, whose portrait, and a magnified image of his medal, features in the 30-metre mural.

Students and teachers from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hourouta Wananga helped celebrate the unveiling with a moving waiata.

The mural attracted considerable attention during the week as the aerosol artist better known as “Mr G” painted it on the Farmlands wall.

Today he begins an East Coast mini-tour that will take him to Tolaga Bay, Ruatoria and Te Kaha.

He said on his Facebook page he was keen to connect with locals and to paint portraits on “a few old sheds and water tanks”.

The flood of invitations included one to create a portrait of East Coast politician and lawyer Sir Apirana Ngata at a Ruatoria site. A water tank at Raukokore, the movie location for Boy, was another suggestion.

“Please let us know if you are coming though Omaio,” said one.

“You can paint my mum’s house if you want. She always wanted White Island on the front of it.”

“Be prepared to gain some weight,” someone lightheartedly warned the artist.

“Everyone would love to meet you.”

HUNDREDS of sheds, water tanks and houses along the East Coast would be adorned with spray-painted portraits if street artist Graham Hoete took up every request in the wake of the unveiling of his Lowe Street mural.

The unveiling of the Farmlands Co-operative mural that features East Coast locations such as Tolaga Bay wharf, Mount Hikurangi and Rere Falls attracted a large gathering on Saturday morning.

Among the crowd was Kate Walker, sister of posthumous Victoria Cross recipient Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu, whose portrait, and a magnified image of his medal, features in the 30-metre mural.

Students and teachers from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hourouta Wananga helped celebrate the unveiling with a moving waiata.

The mural attracted considerable attention during the week as the aerosol artist better known as “Mr G” painted it on the Farmlands wall.

Today he begins an East Coast mini-tour that will take him to Tolaga Bay, Ruatoria and Te Kaha.

He said on his Facebook page he was keen to connect with locals and to paint portraits on “a few old sheds and water tanks”.

The flood of invitations included one to create a portrait of East Coast politician and lawyer Sir Apirana Ngata at a Ruatoria site. A water tank at Raukokore, the movie location for Boy, was another suggestion.

“Please let us know if you are coming though Omaio,” said one.

“You can paint my mum’s house if you want. She always wanted White Island on the front of it.”

“Be prepared to gain some weight,” someone lightheartedly warned the artist.

“Everyone would love to meet you.”

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