Confrontational or inoffensive? Crayfish mural sparks art debate in Auckland

Crayfish mural sparks art debate in Auckland.
Queenstown-based street artist Tess Sheerin painted a large crayfish mural on the side of the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore, earlier this month.
"There is a new mural on the Bruce Mason Centre that is particularly ghastly, gross, whatever words you’d like to use," Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Jennifer McKenzie said in an April 11 local board meeting.
"I’m actually really frustrated and unimpressed by this, not because I’m anti street art, but it’s actually quite a confrontational piece of artwork.
There are enough things going on in South Auckland, issues, and you look at this place making such a major issue about this, it’s amazing," Mangere Bridge resident Brent Watt said Auckland Live director Robbie Macrae was involved in approving artist Tess Sheerin’s request to paint the mural, and said part of the role of public art is to generate debate.
"We are always happy to talk to local boards about any issues," Macrae said.
"I think with any public art, when you’re trying to raise awareness around local issues such as water pollution, it’s designed for people to look at it and have a think, and it’s designed for people to comment on, around the art or the issues.
Macrae also said the mural was temporary, although there is no set time frame for how long it will remain on the Bruce Mason Centre.
"There’s been a lot of criticism of the subject matter," Gillon said.
However, only 26 per cent of people believed it should stay because of its artistic merit.

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