Uniquely Rotorua mural inspired by historic photos



17 May 2016 - A Bay of Plenty artist found inspiration for Rotorua’s  latest inner-city mural on the second floor of the library among hundreds of  historic photographs.

Bela Ughy got work underway on the new mural on Pukuatua St this week.

The artist’s brief, sent out by community arts advisor Marc Spijkerbosch, called for something uniquely Rotorua. To find inspiration for the piece Ughy spent time in the Don Stafford room at the Rotorua Library researching the district.

“I’ve always been good at painting historical images.
“I was looking through all of these old photographs that I found in the Don Stafford room and they all had something in common. They all had steam in them,” he explained.

The four paneled motif called ‘Steamscape’ will depict a scene from early century Rotorua, of Maori and settlers going about life on the shores of Lake Rotorua.

“It is an abstract piece so the steam becomes the main focus while the figures are just silhouettes in behind it,” Bela said.

The mural will take around three weeks to complete as long as the weather complies. Since it has been so mild lately Ughy was able to start the artwork when usually the mural painting season would be over.

“It’s the rain I have to worry about, it washes the paint away. Hopefully the weather stays nice.”

This latest piece of art is another stop on the road to achieving the Rotorua 2030 goals of a vibrant and creative city. Inner city revitalisation portfolio lead Karen Hunt said she is “thrilled to bits” to have another mural in town.

“This next mural is really going to add to the art offering in the inner city. Locals and visitors are going to be able to wander the city and see vibrant art everywhere they look,” Hunt said.

Creative portfolio lead Trevor Maxwell is also pleased with the latest mural.

“They are enhancing our town and telling our very important stories visually.”

Ughy, who is of Hungarian descent but was raised in Auckland and Kawerau, said he was really happy to get a chance to work in Rotorua.

“This will be my first art piece here. I have painted murals in Kawerau and other places around the East Coast.

“Rotorua is growing but it still has a great laid back feel to it. I used to come here for family holidays, I have always loved it,” he said.

Keep an eye out for Ughy on Pukuatua Street over the next few weeks to see how the mural progresses.


Photos: Title photo depicting Ughy's mural concept.

Bela working in the sun on Pukuatua Street getting the wall prepped for painting.

Page reviewed: 17 May 2016 2:20pm