Creative Matters recently took on the challenge of creating a large mural for Kumeu Arts in Huapai, a suburb in the Northwest of Auckland, New Zealand - a few more details to add and we'll be done!

The Kumeu Arts project was slightly unique in that I wanted to create a collaborative work that other local artists could easily contribute to. I had to make the theme and style accessible and not too intimidating (for me as well haha!!) to allow people to contribute in their own way and at the same time ensure the work remained cohesive. I love that you can enjoy the different styles each person has brought to the work.

Izzy Harris, a local teen who has worked with CM on a number of projects, was our number 1 amazing artist and we had a wonderful group of 10 artists and interested friends join us. It meant a lot that people came to us and offered their 'services' when they could and that they felt welcome and comfortable to join in.

The mural was drawn up with chalk to start with and then the background paint colour was painted on the lines so we didn't lose the outlines in the winter rain. People added drawings of their own along the way and added colour or details.

The theme of 'abstract garden' made sense for a collaborative work and connected the building to the public park below. We used a limited colour palette of 6 colours and white, taken from the new Kumeu Arts logo, with a chocolate brown background (Bokana Grey - Resene) to connect to the new Pod building to the right of the centre.

Large simple shapes that represented plants and had an abstract feel were added, then details were painted on top in some areas. The odd realistic ladybug, bird, vine or dragonfly appeared, which complemented the abstract shapes beautifully.

Creative Matters has now completed 5 mural projects in the North West of Auckland and we are keen for more! Our ultimate goal is to develop a public art trail in this area and we're very interested in working with councils, local boards, schools or businesses to make this happen.

Updated: Feb 28

We have another Auckland venue to choose from for our Holiday Art Programmes!

Creative Matters has a wonderful loyal following for our Holiday Programmes in Kumeu and Herne Bay (Auckland, NZ).

With so much demand for many of the workshops we have decided to set up a third venue, at Kohimarama Presbyterian Church, Kohimarama. This is a perfect space for us, with a kitchen, toilet facilities, a garden to sit in for lunch and a large open space to work in.

Our holiday programmes run both weeks of the school holidays, Tuesday - Friday, 9am - 3pm and are way more than your average holiday programme.

Creative Matters workshops are educational and fun with a focus on a rich development of the creative process, encouraging individual creativity and artistic interpretation as well as time to explore and experiment with ideas and visual arts techniques. We use quality art materials and tools and our educators are experienced artists and/or teachers.

The images below give you a quick sense of the cool projects we will explore and develop in our next holiday programme in April at all 3 venues.

For more info and to book, see our website

Updated: Feb 23

Learn more about the ideas behind this beautiful mural created by NZ Artist Tanya Blong on State Highway 16 in Huapai, North West of Auckland.

Creative Matters coordinated this project with generous support from the Auckland Council, in collaboration with Helen Smith, Graffiti Vandalism Advisor – Prevention & Enforcement, Community Empowerment | Arts, Community and Events

This old disused fruit shed situated on SH16 near Huapai NZ was identified as one of the few places in the North West of Auckland that gets tagged and vandalised with graffiti, creating a real eye-sore for this community.

We chose local Muriwai artist Tanya (also an educator with Creative Matters) to create the work as we felt her practice fitted well with the intention and location of the project, not only as a way to add colour and beauty but to tell a story of the history and environment of this area. Plus we LOVE her work!

Ivan Selak, winery director and winemaker, checking the sparkling Champelle in 1981. Photo / Babich Wines Archive

Dalmatian immigrants settled on this land and established their livelihood in the 1870s, planting vineyards and orchards that were nurtured for generations, creating a lasting Kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection) of this place. Many came from the Croatian seaside village of Podgora, which is coincidentally where my husband's father Joe Jakich was from.

In this work, the female figure is set amongst the subtropical environs, her form bends and curves in a way that is suggestive of the land, perhaps a symbol of Papatūānuku (Mother Earth, the provider o nourishment and giver of life).

The cradling of a young Chardonnay sapling an indication of the relationship between the people and the land, balanced in giving and receiving.

We are hoping to create more public art in the North West of Auckland region and I have a dream of building a Public Art Trail in the area one day in the future. Get in touch if you have ideas or want to be involved!

With thanks to:

Auckland Council

Tanya Blong

Resene Paints

Recreational Services

ABC Paint Contractors

Izzy Harris

Kaia Jamieson

Mandy Jakich CEO



  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram