Students Transform Concrete Tank into Work of Art

By Talisa Kupenga

A group of students together with national and international artists have transformed a concrete water reservoir into a work of art, to curb students' tagging and leaving school.
The project will not only brighten up the Massey High School grounds but provide artistic opportunities for at-risk kids passionate about graffiti art.

Painting a different outcome for young graffiti enthusiasts.

Student Jayj Walker, 15, enjoys the project.
"I was doing it when I was younger like illegally and stuff it wasn't that good so getting to do it at school and everyone complementing us on it it's pretty good."

Professional graffiti artist Bobby Hung, aka "Berst" says “we've got students that are interested in graffiti art, interested in using a spray can as a medium and they're interested in working on a public space, lets draw on that.”

The graffiti mural came about after a youth was stood down twice from school for tagging.

For 14-year-old Mana Nightengale, the project has “really opened his eyes”.
"I used to sort of separate people, you know, good and bad but now I can hear them out and say 'hey look, these people have got a story and this is helping them out'."

The graffiti art project is a collaboration between youth from Massey High School and TMD crew artists from New Zealand, Australia and Germany.

Fifteen-year-old Lennox Kaitapere says “One thing that I'm going to take after this is all done is the technique of how the artists taught me how to use a can."

The project has seen more than 60 work hours during weekends in the past month. They expect the mural to be complete in the next two weeks.

Youth Support Worker Sarah Candler says the teens’ attitudes have shifted.
"A lot of them have talked about feeling successful through this project and feeling a sense of being attached to their community in a positive way."

These students could potentially be the professional graffiti artists of tomorrow.