BOON 2018 artist references Hamilton’s Concept Garden

X April 12, 2018

Renowned street artist Flox stands by her BOON 2018 conservation piece. Photo: Horiana Henderson

Internationally renowned street artist Hayley King aka Flox resurrected native manu (birds) for Hamilton street art festival BOON 2018. Her artworks adorn walls at Taipei Zoo, Britomart and Auckland’s car parking building, and her Frankton piece is in response to Hamilton’s recently opened Concept Garden.

Invited artists transformed 10 Hamilton walls last month  and festival co-founder Charlotte Isaac referred to Flox as New Zealand street art elite.

The Kiwi celebrity acknowledged Mother Nature for the “amazing” day as she painted ‘The Rise and Fall of the Titoki’ on a Kent Street siding.

“When I come to these festivals it’s always really important to create something that people aesthetically enjoy as part of the community but also on a deeper level. For the concept to resonate with people as well,” Flox said.

Classic Flox elements include flora and native fauna and her Frankton wall features two female huia, an extinct New Zealand bird, and nine starburst sections signifying the land uses represented in the Hamilton Concept Garden.

The artist acknowledged two whakataukī (Māori proverbs) exhibited in the concept garden which talk about past, present and future and the importance of looking after Mother Earth and her BOON piece addresses those concerns. “It’s a conservation piece,” Flox said.

The red titoki berry colour features prominently throughout Flox’s design. The pigment was used by early Māori to paint their dead and expressed hierarchy. One huia is “ghosted” in titoki-red and symbolises “past failures” and losses.

A “fully fledged” huia in the foreground represents future opportunities and responsibilities to address societal imbalances around ecology, culture and gender.

The manu are backed by a starburst reflecting the nine natural elements of the concept gardens in water, roses, citrus, grass, conifers, tussock, shrubbery tororaro, manuka and oioi grasses.

Flox said that festivals like BOON are about positivity. “The intent is to improve a space, improve a community. To bring together rather than separate. It is an absolute pleasure to be here.”

Street artist Flox said festivals like BOON are about positivity. Photo: Horiana Henderson

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My Story

As an aerosol and stencil artist with a fine art degree, Flox has been making her mark on the inner cityscape of Auckland since 2003.

Her trademark native birds, ferns and flowers are a celebration of Aotearoa’s environmental taonga. Using distinctly vibrant and confident colour on a scale combined with delicacy they have magically transformed grey walls into vibrant depictions of the natural world.

Flox swiftly expanded her practice into prints, publications, murals, graphic design, live painting, projects and workshops for both schools and the wider public. She has been involved in numerous collaborations, charity work and both group and solo exhibitions.

Her accessible narratives have broadened the appeal and shaped her into one of New Zealand’s most recognised contemporary artists.

In recent years Flox has focused on refining new ideas, exploring other cultures and pushing her own artistic boundaries. This resulted in a three-month Artist Residency in Taiwan and a journey to Udaipur in India, to expand her international audiences.

Seen everywhere from Berlin, Hong Kong, New York, Taiwan, India and the US, Flox continues spreading her wings and making her presence felt across public spaces and homes worldwide.

Flox Portrait