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Undercover artwork . . . Toothfish, who wears a mask while painting to remain anonymous, will bring his environmental activism-themed styles to the Wilmott's Workwear building in Sophia St. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

Three Timaru buildings are to be transformed into works of art as the town’s first street art projects get under way.

Dunedin artists Aroha Novak and Toothfish were expected to begin their artworks yesterday if the weather was suitable.

At the time of The Courier‘s deadline, Toothfish had delayed the start of his work to Wednesday due to the weather, Alive Vibrant Timaru representative Lynne Kerr said.

She was hoping the weather would play ball with the projects of the two Dunedin artists, which are to be completed by Monday.

Stencil skills . . . Auckland artist Flox, aka Hayley King, will employ her aerosol-and-stencil art style on a wall opposite Speight’s Ale House later this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Toothfish will be painting on the Wilmott’s Workwear building in Sophia St, while Novak will be taking over a wall on the harbour side of Community House in Strathallan St.

Novak’s artworks – which range from street art to sculptures and sound and video creations – look at issues of escapism through various media as well as social, political and economic inequality still prevalent in contemporary society.

She has been involved with many collaborative community projects in Dunedin. One project involved working with school pupils to transform a run-down playground into a brighter space by getting young residents from 12 different community groups and schools to paint a blank wall to the theme of Be the Change.

Novak has also painted a mural dedicated to the early Chinese settlers in Dunedin and co-ordinated a multimedia art event – featuring bands, poetry performances and embroidered flags – at an unused stadium in the town.

Meanwhile Toothfish, who remains anonymous by wearing a mask on his face while painting, has created environmental activism-themed artworks which have been used around the world in poster form.

In action . . .  Dunedin artist Aroha Novak, pictured working on an exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery earlier this year, will bring her street art skills to Timaru this month. PHOTO: ODT FILES

Previous works include Selling Your Future which supported the Occupy Movement, Vote Planktonposters which were aimed at the 2011 New Zealand general election and There Is No Moneyposters, which people around the world were encouraged to attach to the walls of banks and other financial institutions.

The town’s third big piece of street art this month will be created by Auckland aerosol and stencil artist Flox from November 9.

Flox (real name Hayley King) created an artwork on the side of a classroom at St Andrew’s School in June.

Flox’s artworks – full of her trademark native birds, ferns and flowers – have shifted from appearing solely on street walls to giant owls, for an exhibition of 100 New Zealand artworks on the birds in Auckland earlier this year. Her work also appears on a range of small retail items, including calendars, books, jigsaw puzzles, painted plates, tea-towels, large rugs and yoga mats.

Flox has also created and exhibited artworks in India, New York and Taiwan, and in many towns across New Zealand.

Her Timaru piece will be created on the wall opposite Speight’s Ale House, from November 9-15.