Mīharo Murihiku Trust & Deow: South Sea Spray Motupōhue - Bluff

Bluff South Sea Spray Image

“The Bluff community lifted the South Sea Spray project
to new heights with their input, investment and aroha.”
Pauline Smith – Director Mīharo Murihiku Trust.


Mīharo Murihiku Trust in partnership with DEOW
(Danny Owen) brought the South Sea Spray project to
Motupōhue, after the success of the Aparima – Riverton
pilot project. South Sea Spray is a street art festival that
uses murals painted on buildings, streets and walls to
bring art to communities and boost urban rejuvenation.
Bluff was able to provide an almost blank canvas for
the 15 artists that came for the week-long festival. The
result is a vibrant, engaging and breath-taking mural trail
throughout the township of Bluff starting at Ocean Beach.


The credibility and calibre of the artists made this an
exciting project for Bluff and the murals have created
an attraction for local, national and international
visitors. The festival itself was an overwhelming success,
supported not just by the people in Bluff, but also the
entire local Southland community. The opening night
exhibition was a full house, the community open day
was attended by thousands and a record number of
71 pieces of art were sold through the gallery. Lots of
schools and early child education groups participated
and engaged with the artists, arriving by the busloads.
Youth workshops were held over the festival with local
young artists working together with the artists to create

their own collaborative mural. In total over 20 murals were
completed all throughout Bluff, and the pride this brought
the community was made clear to the artists.


The artists themselves talked with locals, researched and
visited the Museum to create murals that reflected the
community of Bluff, told stories of the region and in some
cases highlighted local icons. The people’s choice winner,
artist Koryu from Japan, based his design on the town’s
relationship with the sea. 

Funding for South Sea Spray Motupōhue – Bluff was
another collaborative effort with Community Trust South
contributing providing $40,000 towards the project along
with contributions from other local and national funders.

Mīharo Murihiku Trust’s aim is to create and facilitate
opportunities to advance arts, culture, youth and
education, inspiring young people to enhance their sense
of cultural identity and well-being. The South Sea Spray
festival embraces these values, the relationship between
DEOW and the team at Mīharo can be credited for
bringing together community, artists, schools, businesses,
and the general public in a project that has showcased
Bluff in a creative way.

Participating Artists – Kell Sunshine, Flox, Trustme, Dcypher,
Charles Williams, & Janine Williams, MrG, Yikes, Erika Pearce,
Berst, Shane Walker, Ikarus, Koryu, Sean Duffell and South Sea
Spay leader and innovator Deow.