Christchurch YMCA

X August 1, 2023

It was an absolute privilege to be invited to paint the YMCA’s new build in Christchurch.  I’ve been talking about and working on this project for the better part of a year and it’s just such an incredible feeling seeing it all come together finally.

The intent for this build, is for the Y to invest in the next generation and to provide a space that is both innovative and inclusive, building strong people, strong families and strong communities.

The artwork works as a whole, and stretches across three internal levels of the building, while each level can be viewed as a separate piece.

Tāne Mahuta, the central theme of the artwork is the connector, the atua, the creator of life and the central symbol binding the levels and paying homage to the Purakau (Maori Myth) of Tāne Mahuta, God of the Forest.

The Cultural Design Framework used for this rebuild centres on the activities of Tāne who after separating his parents Papatūānuku and Ranginui, bought the world into being, into consciousness and flooded the world with sunlight.

Tāne is positioned to inspire the youth of tomorrow, and imparts a knowledge of how to care for our world and our natural environment.  He tells us about the interconnectedness of all things, thus arming our youth with a strong sense of identity as we move forward into an uncertain future.

There are strong cultural links to Mahinga kai practices of the Ōtautahi area, which were undertaken in accordance with the seasons, animal life cycles and growth cycles of plants.  A highly mobile way of life existed around these practices and relationships with the flora and fauna further reinforced a deep connection to nature and surrounding landscapes.

A very special thank you to Josie at the Y for making this all happen.  @shereewagenerartistry thanks for basically being my clone and #tedschroeder who is only 16 years old but worked like a boss for week 🙂

PS: The new building is opening this October, so watch this space!




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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