Paradox Tauranga Street Art Festival

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Charles and Janine Williams

Partners in life as well as art, their style is a graphic, colourful outworking of 
their environmental and genealogical urban Māori heritage. At the forefront of a new wave of urban pacific contemporary art coming out of Aotearoa, their passion is to present the beauty and stories of the land and in particular our endemic/native
birds (manu) in a modern context to communities and collectors around the world.

Charles is a founding member and president of the world acclaimed TMD crew, a globally renowned collective of creative individuals from all corners of the world who have been pushing the artistic boundaries of urban contemporary and graffiti art for the past 20 years. Janine is also a member of TMD and is one of Aotearoa’s first female urban artists. Together they have spent the past 17 years developing community art activations and projects with a strong focus on youth interaction and life intervention concepts.

Find out more about the artists


Paradox Inside work: Rere (Soar)

Dreams and aspirations, barriers and obstacles to overcome – what part of ourselves do we contain and what do we allow free to grow? Rere invites the viewer to question life and the people we connect to, in what environments do we become stagnant or do we reach forward to obtain the future knowing there is more than what we can currently see?

‘Ma te huruhuru, ka rere te manu - Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly’



Paradox Outside work: Messenger

The Ngai Tamarawaho mokai is the Ruru. Known as Whango, it is said to have appeared as a messenger on many occasions to local Iwi. The historically significant Otamataha Pa is situated along the same stretch of coastline, with Whango watching glarefully over the water he reminds us of the importance of the site and the respect that should be shown here.

Just further along the road Paritaha point was the landing site of the waka tapu Takitimu. The waka hoe (oars) symbolise the acknowledgement of their arrival and reminds us that the great navigators brought us to new lands. Appearing like compass points, they are tucked under the wing of the kaitiaki, a symbol of direction that comes from following great leaders.

Mauao is graphically represented with layers of black/white reminding us of the history of the space. The many seasons, occupations, wars and celebrations are all layers to the history of the area and like sediment layers of a mountain they reveal the stories of the past. Relating to the surrounding area, the colours are a direct link to the ocean, river, sky and the building that sits across the road. It is about visual balance as you come down the street towards the wall, a unity of space and people towards the future.

This iconic street art piece came down with the removal of the Dive Crescent storage sheds, making way for temporary car parking end of 2018.

Watch Charles and Janine’s work coming to life

Photography: Luke Shirlaw

Videography: Selina Miles