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Peru comes to Pirimai

Elizabeth pic 1

A colourful portrait of a llama is a visual treat for anyone venturing down Magdalen Crescent in Pirimai, Napier.

La llama de los Andes, by Peruvian-Kiwi artist Elizabeth Bernales, is one of four murals added to Chorus cabinets in Napier over the past year. The Chorus Cabinet Art programme is run in Napier in partnership with Napier City Council. 

The three days it took Elizabeth to complete her artwork was a “beautiful experience”, she says. “The kids and the neighbours in the community came to have a look to see what I was doing and were very excited.”

Elizabeth is inspired by the bright colours of the dresses and embroidery of folk from the Andes.

The art school graduate knows how difficult it can be to make a living from art. She works as an administrator and paints, usually on canvas, when she has the time and the urge to do so.

“Every piece of art is a little part of you.”

Elizabeth’s mural has a little message in Spanish, her first language, saying ‘with some love, from Peru’.

The other cabinet murals painted most recently depict a sunset behind the palisades of Ōtātara Pā, a colourful floral celebration of native fauna, and kāhu (hawks) flying at dusk over the Hawke’s Bay landscape.

Chorus Community Relations Manager Jo Seddon says the Chorus cabinet art programme started as an experiment to stop graffiti in 2010 but has been phenomenally successful.

“It’s resulted in hundreds of cabinets across the country becoming bright artworks, which are now rarely affected by graffiti. Added to that, the programme has helped some talented artists further their careers.”

“We are particularly pleased with the work this year in Napier.”

Artists are paid for materials and a contribution towards the time spent on the works. Submissions to Chorus usually open at the start of July.

For more information:


A lotta llama love: Artist Elizabeth Bernales pictured with La llama de los Andes.

5 July 2023

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