Kevin Ledo is known for his impressive murals of portraits, and this time it’s a portrait of Whero O Te Rangi Bailey, a Maori elder from Parihaka in Taranki, originally photographed by Stu Robertson…
Stu and I met the first day I arrived in Christchurch to discuss me using one of his photos from his Peace in 10000 Hands project. This great project is where Stu photographs a white rose, an ancient symbol of peace, in the hands of 10,000 people from every country on the planet. After some discussion, we agreed that it would be a great idea for me to reinterpret one of his photos into a mural on The Crown Plaza Hotel in Christchurch, a business that agreed to work with Street prints for the festival. Stu has his Photography throughout the Crown Plaza Hotel, therefore having me reinterpret one of his photographs on the building made perfect sense. I initially wanted to work from a photograph of a local Maori person, so after looking through a selection of his photographs of New Zealanders, I came across his photograph of Whero O Te Rangi Bailey, and it struck me as the one.
Soon after starting the mural, the daughter of the woman I was painting, Maia, reached out to me with the kindest words and appreciation. She spoke very highly of her mother and her impact on the community. Whero Bailey is no longer with us, but her daughter said she would have been humbled by this dedication to her. She said the image is being shared around the family and around the rohe (territory of iwi tribes).
A huge special thanks to Jah and Lovie of Street Prints for inviting me to this Festival and making all of this happen, they couldn’t have been more generous. Thanks to my buddy Fin Dac who’s been my mural and travel partner for the last 5 weeks, from Miami to Tauranga to Christchurch. At last I’m back in the deep freeze of Montreal winter.
Check out more shots of the mural coming together below and keep checking back with us for more updates from the Eastern world!