Young Artist Creates Auckland’s Most Instagrammable Wall
Papakura has a brand-new art attraction in their town centre, with the addition of an interactive mural titled ‘Insta-Active’. The mural features five different scenes individually designed to make the perfect photo backdrop for Instagram users.
24-year-old Lead Artist, Cypress Iles said, “This is my first large-scale art project, and I’m really happy with the final result”. Iles was assisted by five supporting artists: Ken Parry, Wilz Leonard, Richie Kennedy-Walker, Nelly Parry and Nate Thompson.
This new interactive art piece is among more than twenty large-scale murals to go up in Papakura since 2018. It was a collaboration between Auckland Council, Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust and The Corner: Creative Space; a local arts organisation that provides arts access and education to the community.
The site of the ‘Insta-Active’ mural was a notorious hotspot for graffiti vandalism which resulted in an ongoing cost to the public through frequent eradication. The project was commissioned at the beginning of 2020, but had to be delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Auckland Council’s Graffiti Vandalism Advisor Helen Smith said, “Beautification is a key factor in wellbeing and Auckland Council are proud to support this community-led initiative which is a great example of how prevention outcomes can be achieved through utilising the skills and insights of young, local artists to achieve a unique interactive mural for everyone to enjoy.”
Interactive art has become increasingly popular in recent years, specifically with users of visually driven social platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Flickr. This surge in popularity has led to the introduction of new tech start-ups like Depalo; a smartphone app that helps users find ‘the best instagrammable murals’ using GPS coordinates.
Instagram boasts over 1.7m users in New Zealand, and over one billion users worldwide. The social media platform, that was taken over by Facebook in 2012, is mainly popular with younger generations in the 18-34 age group.
“I like the idea of using my art form to tap into an online trend with my generation, and this is a unique opportunity to have my physical artwork shared and appreciated through a digital medium worldwide” said Iles, who’s currently studying 3D Animation and Special Effects at the Media Design School in Auckland City.
Dedicated Instagram users can find the ‘Insta-Active’ mural at the Davis Car Park, located behind McDonald’s in Papakura.