X November 15, 2018


“The Shelter” acknowledges the geographical, historical and cultural significances of Timaru and the greater South Canterbury.

By Eleanor Rarity

Internationally renowned New Zealand artist Flox has finished her mural, the final one in a trio of street art pieces, which depicts the surrounding landscape and native species- both safe and endangered.


The final layers have been applied to the last mural in Timaru’s street art series, and both artist Flox​ and the organisers are “happy” with the now transformed walls.

Along with muralist Toothfish and artist Aroha Novak, Flox was brought to town by Alive Vibrant Group Timaru and the Timaru Civic Trust to help make Timaru the newest street art centre.

Flox’s September date in town was postponed due to a back injury, delaying her arrival until November 11.

Flox works with Roncalli College student Cameron Henderson, 14, at a workshop at the Aigantighe Art Gallery on Wednesday, where school students got to cut out stencils and then spray paint them on the grass.


She finished her mural, which features the cabbage tree, a huia, moa skeleton, long-tailed bat, weta, and mudfish against the backdrop of the mountains and Caroline Bay, in four days.

Named “The Shelter”, the mural’s title harkens back to Timaru’s “possible original name Te Maru”, she said.

The cabbage tree is now both represented in life and in art, as one of the features of Flox’s mural.


Civic Trust member Lynne Kerr said the artists had been blessed with the weather.

“I think we’ve been pretty lucky, haven’t we? Timaru will have three big, spectacular street art murals adorning our heritage buildings,” Kerr said.

The buildings in question are the side of Willmott’s Workwear​ in the Royal Arcade on Sophia St, the Community House wall facing the farmers’ market, and the back wall of the former National Bank of New Zealand building, on Stafford St.

Flox with Mountainview High School student Michelle Duke, 15, at the workshop.


Now that the first street art project is finished, the group is looking at the next one, with a focus on “engaging the community”.

“We’re all buzzing with ideas,” Kerr said.

One of the key ideas is using South Canterbury artists, and for businesses to ‘donate’ a wall to street art.

The mural painted by Internationally renowned New Zealand artist Flox on the rear of the former National Bank of New Zealand building in Timaru.


There could also be a range of murals, including both big and small sizes, Kerr said.

After finishing her mural on Tuesday, Flox​ spent Wednesday taking a workshop for primary and secondary school students at the Aigantighe Art Gallery.

Using the same techniques and materials that she uses for all her workshops, students spent the first hour cutting out stencils, and then spent the next spray painting them, Flox​ said.

“It’s nice to be able to connect with the kids,” she said.

She was also happy with how the mural had gone, and said “the weather has certainly played ball.”

Internationally renowned New Zealand artist Flox has finished her mural, the final in a trio of street art pieces, which depicts the surrounding landscape and native species- both safe and endangered.


Members of the Benvenue Friendship walking group check out Flox’s mural.


Artist Flox looks up at her completed mural and one of its main features, the endangered long-tailed bat.


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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