New mural a nostalgic ode2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Many of you will have noticed the brand-new ONEHUNGA mural on the corner of Onehunga Mall and Princes Street. Made possible with the support of Transpower NZ and the Onehunga Business Association, it stands out as a nostalgic ode to the area, featuring popular iconic symbols of Onehunga’s past and present.
Artist, Bobby MacDonald, says his inspiration for the theme came from the SWIDT VS Everybody album cover, and features distinct outlined images like the old 312 bus and the famous yellow couch. “The idea was to make ONEHUNGA stand out more, so I outlined all of the motifs in a darker blue to keep the background subtle, yet still feature all the detailing. Having all the images in there with full colour and detail would have made the mural too busy,” he says.
Bobby says he feels honoured to have had the chance to share his work in the public spaces he frequented when growing up. A proud ex-student of Onehunga High School, he credits his art teacher, Miss Wilde, for steering him into university, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He recently embarked on a life-changing journey to reconnect with his culture and heritage, and made some major changes to improve his wellbeing. “I decided to move to the far north to learn the whakapapa, and I have literally gone right back to kōhanga/kindergarten to learn what should have been taught to me as a child. It took me 35 years to find my purpose in life, but all the people I have met, and the experiences have shaped me into the person I have become.”
During his time away, he founded Nga Atua Hou/The New Gods alongside his sister Maria, and runs a leadership programme through art in schools. “My sister was going through some serious stuff too, and almost took her own life. While planning ways to help put her back on her path, together we dreamt up Nga Atua Hou as a way to honour and share stories of wāhine toa and tāne toa – young Maori doing uplifting work in their communities.”
He is also fulfilling his dream of running an art business, oxyart.nz, which specialises in murals, signage, and custom banners.
Bobby would like to thank the Onehunga Business Association for their support, and is excited about plans he has in the works. Visit ngaatuahou.nz to find out more about this journey.