'Harmonious' change to iconic Auckland mural made permanent

'Harmonious' change to iconic Auckland mural made permanent
Photo credit: Rachel Mataira.

A man who made changes to an iconic Auckland wall painting says he wanted to create something more reflective of his community - and it's prompted a permanent update carried out by the actual artist. 

Last week, residents of Morningside were surprised when a wall painting of two dogs fighting with knives had the weapons covered up with a bouquet of flowers.

The painting from well-known street artist Andrew J. Steel, titled The Divide, was the first large scale public piece he completed after leaving street art collective BMD.

"This particular work speaks directly about the conflict I experienced in BMD," a statement from Steel on the KingslandNZ website says.

"In the end, we didn't agree on much and it became a total breakdown of relationship, hence the dog fight depicted in the work." 

But the man who added the flower wallpaper to the painting last Thursday said The Divide had never really been welcomed by the Morningside community.

"The community never really responded well to those dogs," the man, who asked not to be named in fear of reprecussions, told Newshub.

"It kinda didn't reflect our community… and I had been wondering how to do something about it."

After a local man took to the mural with a bouquet of flowers, the actual artist updated the piece to remove the knives and hold flowers.
After a local man took to the mural with a bouquet of flowers, the actual artist updated the piece to remove the knives and hold flowers. Photo credit: Rachel Mataira.

The flowers, as well as a "Let's Be Friends" sticker, were glued onto the wall with wallpaper paste stayed up for about a week before rain washed them off.

"We were kinda hoping it would last in the weather, but it didn't. The community responded really well to the flowers."

Peel to Pip café posted a picture of the art on their Facebook page of, noting it was a "kinder, more harmonious spin".

On Saturday however the piece was updated by Steel to include a bouquet of flowers which will sit permanently within the artwork. The mural no longer features knives. 

"Much more reflective of our awesome and inclusive place - filled with aroha," a post on social media stated. 

Steel declined to comment when approached by Newshub.

Newshub.

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