Mural celebrates Māori connections

A mural celebrating Māori connections with the land aims to uphold the mana of tauira, making them feel more included in the physical space of Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin campus.

Mural celebrates Maori connections 01

The mural, titled Haumanu, graces the wall of the Tauraka Pipipi building on Union St East, and helps define the area where the Pōpopo Wormporium is sited.

Originally from Wellington, Bella Maresca graduated from with a Bachelor of Design in 2021. She designed the mural as part of a client-based project within her degree.

“Pōpopo’s kaupapa around building regenerative practices in our community definitely attracted me to the project and motivated me to work hard and create something that would start conversations,” Bella explains.

Selected to create the mural after the design pipped three other contenders in a poll, Bella’s vision explores kaitiakitaka, a collective responsibility of living things to nurture and protect the earth.

“One of the first things I identified while working on this project in 2021 was that Pōpopo’s values are informed by a Māori worldview.

“The regenerative and sustainable practices we see in an Aotearoa context have been inspired by that of kaitikitaka practices. I felt that in order to authentically represent the kaupapa of Pōpopo, Māori stories and values needed to be present in the physical space.

“As a pakeha artist, I knew that it was important to collaborate with a Māori creative on the project,” Bella reflects.

“So I teamed up with Eva Meeuws, a Māori designer who is studying a Bachelor of Design (Communication) at Otago Polytechnic.

“Eva worked on the beautiful moko designs and found ways to incorporate more traditional kowhaiwhai designs into the mural.”

Published on 20 Jun 2022

Published on 22 Jun 2022