RIVERTON MURAL FOR SOUTH SEA SPRAY

X December 14, 2018


Riverton, Aparima! You have completely blown us away. Big big thank you for having us for South Sea Spray art fest here in the deep south. And wow, I tell you what that Southern hospitality exists big time!


“The Crossing”
Painted by Flox and TrustMe

Our work considers the idea of dual identity and the notion of belonging, or not.

The history of the Fouveaux Straight area features some of the first examples of intermarriage between Māori and Pākehā and signalled what could be considered the beginning of modern New Zealand society. Both names “Riverton” and “Aparima” can be seen incorporated and overlaid across the entire artwork, illustrating notions of diversity and inclusiveness.

In this way, the son and daughter of the whaler and early settler John Howell and his wife Kohi Kohi (the daughter of chief Patu of Centre Island/Raratoka) mark the bi-cultural foundation of Aparima and Aotearoa. Their children, George and Sarah/Teriana Howell are representative of a journey towards bi-culturalism that is still underway today as depicted in the artwork through the use of their initials “G” and “T”.

The mural employs local iconography including bull kelp, traditionally used to wrap and preserve the Tītī or mutton bird and references to whaling activity and how this has changed over time.

The Tītī is employed as an embodiment of the people who lived and worked in Aparima and simultaneously acknowledges those who have gone before and those who are here now.
It is fair to say that navigating between traditional iwi norms and the European centric traits of the colonial society had a dislocating effect on the sense of identity and belonging for some of those existing between these two cultural spaces.

While acknowledging this as a historical characteristic of our national story, these are in fact very contemporary issues that many people grapple with today within a multifaceted and increasingly complex world. Our work simply acknowledges that identity and belonging are both personal and pertinent ideas that we all pursue in the fulfilment of self.

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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.

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Flox Portrait