Dunedin may not be synonymous with graffiti and street art, but a fabulous new project has brought the city to life. The Dunedin Street Art Trust had the bright idea of inviting some of the world’s best street artists to visit and add a splash of colour. With a promise of a home-stay vacation, rugby matches and a visit to Castle Street, artists have obliged by producing over 40 artworks, decorating the drabbest of places.
The trust receives no funding receives from the local or central government, relying on its own fundraising and donations from businesses and building owners. It was set up nearly four years ago, and has so far raised roughly $150,000 which includes the proceeds from a recent auction. Dunedin has some beautiful, old architecture, and impressive buildings, which marry surprisingly well with the colourful modern designs.
One of the most impressive graffiti pieces is the 3D metallic bull created by the Puerto Rican, Joshua Santos Rivera, who is a renowned graffiti artist with 15 years experience. The Trust took three years to persuade him to contribute to the project, and treated him to a rugby match at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Further street works include an aerosol painting depicting a giant reptile by Belgian artist, ROA; a collage featuring playing cards by Be Free; and a portrait by local painter, Jon Thom, who specialises in dramatic weather scenes. Other pieces include a fantastically styled submarine that swallows boats, a collection of penguins, a huge eagle, and vibrant horned goat skulls.
Dunedin hopes to increase the number of street art pieces on display, providing great talking points, and attracting people from near and far to view this innovative idea of how to transform a city. A self-guided walk is available to enable visitors to seek out the paintings hidden in alleyways.