Mural of Aunty Bea to be unveiled on Sunday

The completed Te Toki mural by Taumata Soloman. Supplied photo.

An intimate ceremony to unveil a large wall mural of the late Aunty Bea will be held this Sunday with her whanau.

Beatrice Yates (nee Grant) passed away last year and a mural created in her honour by Ngāi Tūhoe artist, Taumata Soloman, will be officially unveiled on Hinemoa Street, next to Ajays Emporium, on Sunday at 4pm.

The mural entitled, Te Toki o Te Arawa Hero Mural, was created as part of the inaugural Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival.

Taumata, who heads Rotorua Lakes High School’s Maori department, says he is humbled Aunty Bea’s whanau is happy to see her memory brightening Rotorua’s inner city.

“It reflects who Aunty Bea is and captures the essence of her wairua ataahua (majestic life). I want people to see her radiant smile and interpret the woman she was to Rotorua.

“Aunty Bea was a very special person to me. She believed in sharing the arts through various mediums such as literature and music. She touched my heart and I’m privileged to gift my talent to remembering the wonderful mentor and champion she was to the arts.”

Taumata says he would love to see the ‘Te Toki o Te Arawa Hero Mural’ continue as part of the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival so the city can celebrate local people who champion the arts.

In te reo Maori, Taumata says it has been a year since Aunty Bea passed away and he hopes his work is a tribute to her family and the memory she leaves with Rotorua.

“E mihi ana ki te whānau a Aunty Bea katahi ka hura i tona kahatu, i maumahara i a ia mō ngā mahi nui i oti i a ia, i a ia i te mata o te whenua. Hopefully this piece helps to keep her memory alive. E kore rawa e wareware.”

The mural unveiling on Sunday will replace the advertised ceremony scheduled for 29 September.

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