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OBS Clyde St mural image

A welcoming and vibrant new look for the Otago Business School’s Clyde St entrance

A bright and beautiful visual pepeha (an introduction establishing identity and heritage) representing inclusivity and diversity now graces the Clyde St entrance to the Business School.

Completed in late December 2023, the mural came to life during the World Leisure Congress, which was hosted by the Business School’s Department of Tourism.

The Congress is the world’s largest academic leisure conference and is overseen by the World Leisure Organisation, an NGO that promotes the importance of available and accessible leisure pursuits as an integral part of human health and wellbeing.

Students from Canada, the US and Australia attending the Field School Programme held in association with the Congress collaborated with local artists Aroha Novak and Jess Thompson on the mural’s design.

As part of the planning for the Congress, Dr Stu Hayes and Professor Neil Carr had the idea to develop a mural that would challenge the students to think about how to make leisure more inclusive, which aligned with one of the Congress’s key social impact goals.

“This mural is about inclusivity and diversity, representing ideas of a visual pepeha within a kaleidoscopic composition,” says Ms Novak.

“We were thinking about the different students, staff and public that either walk through those doors into the business school or walk past, and wanted to create an inviting, joyful entranceway that related to the field school’s kaupapa.”

OBS Clyde St mural workshop image

Students and the artists gather to workshop the design.

During the design development phase, the students were invited to reflect on a series of pātai (questions).

These questions included: Where is your whenua (land) and what is its history? What did you expect to experience when you came to Aotearoa? What would you like to leave with? What is a symbol (specifically related to land, water and nature) you can think of that represents where you are from?

“From this series of questions, we had a workshop with the students to gather symbols and ideas from them to incorporate into the background we prepared.”

The artists said they found a lot of repeated themes running through their ideas and shaped them into a visual pepeha that acknowledges the whenua, Ōwheo and moana nui a kiwa, with various kaitiaki and plant life embedded into the design.

“It was really heartwarming working with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Some great feedback from the students was their willingness to find out more about the lands that they come from.”

The mural project was supported by funding from the Field School, Setpoint Solutions and the Dunedin City Council.

Kōrero by Communications Adviser, Sally Knox, Otago Business School

OBS Clyde St mural closeup image

A closer view of part of the finished mural

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