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Upper Hutt Leader : November 23rd 2011
61 UPPER HUTT LEADER, NOVEMBER 23, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Street artist heads offshore Artist at work: Jon Drypnz conjures up another masterpiece. Photo: SARAH BURTON By SARAH BURTON Wellingtonians are used to street artist Jon Drypnz’s giant murals adorning the walls of the city. Soon he’ll be taking his talent to the Thailand-Burma border as part of the Little Lotus Project. The project involves 12 diverse artists from New Zealand, Cambodia, Singapore and the United States. They are funding their own way to Thailand next month to work with and inspire refugee and migrant children and to raise money for charity. Drypnz (his artist name) is excited about travelling to Thailand and using his skills to encourage children he wouldn’t be able to help in a purely monetary way. ‘‘You’re able to see what the kids are into, give them a chance to see what the outer world is doing and not just their little home town,’’ he said. ‘‘They could be living on a dump, picking through trash for a living and you can show them that they could do more if they get the oppor- tunity to go for it.’’ The Little Lotus Project is in its second year. Last year $10,000 was raised in Wellington and sent to the Thailand-Burma border by selling artwork – the children’s and that of Wellington artists. ‘‘It’s pushing the local Wellington art scene as well as helping chil- dren who are in unfortunate situations,’’ Drypnz said. Drypnz, 24, travelled a lot when younger and got into street art while in high school in the Caribbean. He moved to Wellington to attend university. ‘‘Wellington just seemed like a happening place. ‘‘It was creative and I’ve always lived on small islands, so anything bigger than Wellington would’ve been too big.’’ Drypnz said the Wellington street art scene was budding. ‘‘It’s still quite underground, but it’s not at the same time. The people are starting to notice it because it’s such a small city.’’ It’s a case of the bigger the better when it comes to Drypnz’s choice of canvases. ‘‘There are more walls that I’m looking at and I want to get bigger walls as well. ‘‘I like things that are getting up to three, four storeys now.’’ Drypnz has been commissioned to paint some sites, such as the Tattoo Apartments opposite Havana Bar in Wigan St and Mamachari bicycles in Island Bay. He said he used to do his per- sonal work under cover, but that now he found it easier to ask landlords for permission because he liked to spend a lot of time on each piece. ‘‘People have become way more open. They see what’s going on and they see the quality that’s coming up. ‘‘You go and ask them and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen that stuff in town’.’’ Drypnz’s style is inspired by the world around him. ‘‘If I see something on the street like objects or strange people who do strange things, it’s a lot of internal dialogue and it turns into strange illustrations.’’ He said he was looking forward to teaching the children a different way to have fun. ‘‘It’s about getting the kids to for- get about hardships, to let loose, teach them that they can have fun with strange objects, and if they are having a hard time they can learn how to express emotions through visual arts.’’ ❚ To fundraise for the Little Lotus Project, Drypnz is selling artworks at an exhibition at 15 Courtenay Place. The exhibition opened on November 18. Donations can also be made online with a credit card by going to his fundraising website, givealittle.co.nz/cause/ drypnztothailand. Back paddle on aquatic centre By JOEL MAXWELL Coastlands Aquatic Centre has been delayed as the council deals with higher-than-expected tender costs – one of two big ticket projects facing budget blowouts as tenders closed. Construction on the aquatic cen- tre was to begin this month but now councillors decide next month what to cut from the design to keep the project to budget. As previously reported by the Kapiti Observer, staff presented councillors with possible changes in August, if tenders overshot the $6 million budget for the building sec- tion of the project. The possible changes included ditching the moveable floor planned for the 25m lap pool, which would save about $935,000. Another option was excluding the hydroslide, saving about $230,000 but ‘‘significantly reduc- ing’’ the attractiveness of the centre to younger people. On Friday the council announced that tenders for the centre, and its civic building upgrade, had indeed come in higher than expected. In a written release mayor Jenny Rowan said the council was ‘‘very surprised’’ by the tenders received for the projects. The aquatic centre has a budget of about $17 million, including community fundraising of $4.3 million; while the council budgeted $3.7 million in the current financial year for the council building upgrade. Work was set to begin on the council building upgrade this month and is expected to take about a year to complete. In the release Ms Rowan said council staff would work with designers and tenderers for both projects to identify where savings could be made ‘‘without compro- mising the original design con- cepts’’. Staff would report back on both projects to councillors at a special meeting set for December. ‘‘In the meantime we are not in a position to go into details while discussions are under way with the tenderers involved,’’ Ms Rowan said. In August, pressure was already mounting over aquatic centre costs with concerns over dwindling con- tingency cash and a $1.12 million fundraising shortfall. The project, set for completion by late 2012, had already been stung by a high tender on the planned see-through plastic roof, which doubled in cost to about $614,000. Ms Rowan, councillors and staff had not responded to questions at press time. Council staff were set to move to the old Whitireia site at Lindale this month for the upgrade of its headquarters.
November 16th 2011
November 30th 2011