Queenstown’s new rejuvenation mural

Leading New Zealand mural artist Tess Sheerin has produced a Covid-19 inspired mural in Queenstown, aimed at helping mental health.

During and after the Covid-19 lockdowns, one positive effect on the Aotearoa community is that it has forced many people to consider what is most important in life, Sheerin says. This includes being able to slow down the pace of people’s lives, connect to their roots, the land, animals, birds, and the people around them.

Birds are especially important to New Zealand’s national identity, she believes.

“Each of the wildlife interpretations in the new rejuvenate mural in Tahuna (Queenstown) are in some way a representation of my own journey to better health. After the pandemic hit, I realised a lot of the stuff I was dealing with was happening to the wider community. The mural aims to inspire empathy and erase the stigma surrounding mental health issues. These messages are portrayed through the inspiration of Aotearoa’s unique taonga wildlife. One of the birds in the mural, Noah the Moa, is asking for reconnection, growth and gratitude. The second, Karma Kiwi, requests love and kindness and the third, Balance Bee, requires balance and nutrition.”

The Rejuvenate mural was painted in recognition of The Key to Life Charitable Trust, which was founded by mental health supporter Mike King.

The trust believes it is time to stop throwing negatives at the problem of suicide and to start throwing positives at the solutions.

Its team works with mental health professionals, service providers, business leaders and those in the community to normalise what is deemed ‘abnormal’ by current social perceptions. “We believe it is possible to reverse the population trends of depression and suicide by effecting a positive social change,” says King.

About the birds:

Noah the moa
“An interpretation of our now-extinct flightless bird and a lost treasure; the moa, it reminds us to express gratitude for what we do have before it’s too late,” says Sherrin. “Concerns about how to look after our mental health during times of uncertainty and isolation is of utmost importance since the Covid-19 pandemic swept across our planet. How do we look after ourselves and our loved ones?”

Karma Kiwi
“A representation of this psychological journey. She is calm, grounded and is being kind to herself; taking the time to slow down, watch her thoughts and emotions, and cultivating love of self which will inevitably radiate out to help others.”

Balance Bee
“This incredible flying insect not only gives us delicious honey but of course pollinates our flowers and plants, helping us grow food; keeping us happy and healthy human beings. She is happy, sets an example and has the world in her hands, respecting the balance of life and that every individual matters and makes a difference no matter the size.”

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