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Dylan Thompson, left, Stella Loft, Maddison Brunt, Kalie Taaffe, Cruize Keane, and Patricia Te Uruti-Te Toko enjoy the new mural.

Interactive garden mural brightens reserve

It took ten years for the new garden-themed mural in Ngātea to sprout at Dudding Reserve.
The mural was painted by Thames-based artist Kylie Gunn with support from Positively Promoting the Plains, Creative Communities, and a private family donation.
Positively Promoting the Plains committee member Ann Clark told The Profile the vision for the mural was to draw more people to Ngātea.
“We did it so it brightened up the Dudding Reserve because at the time [Hauraki District Council] weren’t going to be putting any gardens in there,” she said.
“I took the bull by the horns and I decided myself [the garden theme] was how it’s going to be because we needed something to draw people to Ngātea to make them stop and take time in our town.”
Ann said the mural featured many interactive paintings of things found in gardens for children and adults to take photos in front of.
“As an adult you could put your hand underneath the Kea so the Kea’s on your hand, there’s a butterfly for adults, there’s a bike to stand by and a seat to sit on,” she said.
“For the kids there’s a butterfly to stand in front of and a watering can and kite to hold on to.”
Ann said funding for the mural included $2000 from Creative Communities, $1500 from Positively Promoting the Plains and a private donation.
The funds went towards the paint and the commission for Kylie to paint the mural.
Ann said she also planned to have the oak tree at Dudding Reserve lit up every month to commemorate events, such as blue for Blue September and red for Anzac Day.
Kylie, who has painted six murals in Thames, said the Ngātea mural would “bring smiles to people’s faces”.
“I know the kids seem to like it and different ages as they walk past and I’m going to be painting a lot of ladybugs all over the wall as well so the preschoolers will be able to count them,” she said.