Māori touch for restaurant artwork

By Kelvin McDonald
Māori artists Charles and Janine Williams project managed the new mural at Courtenay Place KFC.  Photo: Charles & Janine Williams/Facebook.

Māori artists Charles and Janine Williams have provided the Māori influences for a mural at Courtenay Place KFC in Wellington featuring their contemporary maunga designs.

The couple shared pictures of the artwork with their followers on social media on Friday evening, noting that fellow artist Askew One (Elliot O'Donnell) had painted the restaurant's founder while they had provided the artistic interpretations of Mt Victoria.

"The portrait skills of Askew One brought the Colonel to life & worked with our graphic contemporary maunga (mountain) designs to bring a new creative direction for the brand working with the simple interior lines."

Janine Williams posted on her Instagram page that "It was a great gesture to allow me to paint the sacred maunga of the area alongside the Colonel’s portrait.”

The Williams say they were given the opportunity to design and project manage the artwork earlier this year.

In their post, the couple took the opportunity to share the traditional Māori names for the maunga.

"The original names of the sacred maunga (mountain) are Tangi-te-keo, "cry of the wind” & Matai-rangi, or "gazing towards heaven" but is commonly known as Mount Victoria."

As a last word, the couple acknowledged the positive inclusion of cultural design in business spaces.

"It’s encouraging to see companies & brands pushing creative boundaries & bringing in more cultural awareness to their spaces!"

Charles and Janine Williams are well-known for their street art depictions of native birdlife.