Artists are pooling resources to give Liverpool St new life to the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival

If you follow the white rabbit, you will find the work of Ali Selliman from the artist group known as the Underwater Collective.

Tom Lee / Stuff

If you follow the white rabbit, you will find the work of Ali Selliman from the artist group known as the Underwater Collective.

One of Hamilton’s most unusual streets has suddenly been transformed into a giant outdoor art gallery filled with surreal, colorful scenes.

Although it was supposed to officially begin on Friday, work on the artwork at this year’s Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival is already well under way.

The 10 Hamilton artists involved – Craig McClure, Rachel Kiddie McClure, Ahsin Ahsin, Pauly B, Ali Selliman, Kieran Horner, Xavier Tapp, Brya Rose, Pounamu Wharekawa and Liam Bourton – have spent much of this week working at Liverpool St . the northern end of the central city.

And they are not finished yet.

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“It’s not often we get to work with each other in a concentrated footprint like this,” said McClure, who is also the festival’s director.

“We planned it and decided to move on, as if we were still at level 3, even though it turns out we probably would have been fine,” McClure said. “We still wanted to reduce the risk of people gathering, which is why we decided to have this digital version of the festival that anyone, anywhere, can access.”

Festival director Craig McClure is among the artists giving Liverpool St, at the north end of Hamilton's city center, a new life.

Tom Lee / Stuff

Festival director Craig McClure is among the artists giving Liverpool St, at the north end of Hamilton’s city center, a new life.

Liverpool St is a connecting street between one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Anglesea St and Victoria St. People traveling south down nearby Ulster St can enjoy the view of one of the works of art by Pauly B – also known as Paul Bradley – through a landmark line between buildings.

Normally, most of the festival’s artists are from further afield, but the alarm level 3 restrictions that were in place until Wednesday put payment on these plans – and also resulted in the introduction of a more interactive online aspect to the event.

This collection of pandas and pickles is the result of the talents of Hamilton artists Brya Rose.

Tom Lee / Stuff

This collection of pandas and pickles is the result of the talents of Hamilton artists Brya Rose.

This will include videos of artists at work; “Paper to Concrete” guides; competitions, art and merchandise giveaways; and interviews with the artists.

One of the competitions takes the form of a challenge for Hamiltonians to take a selfie in front of their favorite piece of Hamilton street art and post with the hashtag # boonstreetart2021 on either Facebook or Instagram.

Everyone who does so will take part in the draw to win a Boon Prize Package and some prints by the participating artists.

Xavier Tapp's works are inspired by geometric abstraction and brutalist architecture.  The influences from both can be seen in this new work.

Tom Lee / Stuff

Xavier Tapp’s works are inspired by geometric abstraction and brutalist architecture. The influences from both can be seen in this new work.

360-degree high-resolution photographs similar to Google Maps’ Street View are also being developed, where viewers can digitally experience the murals that artists want to create and visit other murals around the city.

More details about the events and the artists can be found at boonstreetart.co.nz.

Pauly B's dreamy landscape artwork can be seen adorning several walls around the city.  For this piece, he has enlisted the help of Boon shop steward Nancy Caiger.

Tom Lee / Stuff

Pauly B’s dreamy landscape artwork can be seen adorning several walls around the city. For this piece, he has enlisted the help of Boon shop steward Nancy Caiger.

Ahsin Ahsin populates walls around the country with striking images of crocodiles and robots.  This well-muscled character is an addition to the exciting community.

Tom Lee / Stuff

Ahsin Ahsin populates walls around the country with striking images of crocodiles and robots. This well-muscled character is an addition to the exciting community.

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