Mural Artist Naawie Tutugoro, Snicklel Lane
Naawie Tutugoro created a massive mural titled Level 1 in the CBD after winning the Snickel Lane Urban Art Award.

A Waiheke artist has created a bright and cheeky addition to downtown Auckland thanks to a $10,000 urban arts grant.

Naawie Tutugoro’s vibrant mural is now a permanent feature of Snickel Lane, a location which provided inspiration for the Elam School of Fine Arts student because of her interpretation of the word as meaning “cheeky younger brother”. 

It took a fortnight to bring Naawie’s concept, which incorporates vintage and retro elements, to life and she used newspaper clippings paired with brightly painted animated characters. 

“There’s a sense with Snickel Lane that it’s almost a 24/7 kind of place, where the corporates come in for coffee in the morning, commuters come in for their snacks and then you’ve got night-time where people come here after work. It seems like every day is different and it’s very social.”

Naawie says the public art project was challenging, very hands-on and a great learning experience. She incorporated different mediums into the mural, including pasting, drawing, painting and collage. 

“It’s how public spaces used to appear, like the poster culture era. Now we’ve commoditised a lot of public space, but this has the chance to be vibrant, a little bit loud and a little bit hectic.”

The colourful wall now offers diners and pedestrians something interesting to look at as they navigate Snickel Lane which connects Commerce Street with Fort Lane. The $10,000 award Naawie won was established in 2016 by Argosy Property. It is awarded to Creative Arts and Industries students at the University of Auckland, who are in their final year, or undertaking postgraduate studies. •

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