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The Graceful Ascent

Arts and Culture Frankston


Phone: 1300 322 842

The Kōtuku, also known as the Great Egret or White Heron, is a local bird to Frankston and has a deep spiritual connection with indigenous Māori of New Zealand, especially around a time of tangi mourning.

The artists explain, “Our great uncle Dr Haare Williams said the Kōtuku is the carrier of souls to Hawaiki ancestral - spiritual home.  We wanted to capture the movement as it gracefully ascends carrying the loss to Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pamamao, your resting place, their resting place. We think of our 51 fallen heroes. (Christchurch, March 2019)”


Artist Bio:
Charles is a founding member and president of the world championship winning crew TMD (The Most Dedicated), a collective of creatives from around the world who continue to push artistic boundaries. They have been global leaders in the urban contemporary art field over the past 20 years.  Charles' accolades include winning world graffiti art titles as a crew in Germany 2006 and individually in Tahiti 2016, winning the Modesto California mural competition in 2018 and participating in the Guinness Book of Records world’s largest graffiti scroll project as a sponsored artist in Dubai 2016.

Janine is one of Aotearoa's first female urban artists and also a member of TMD crew. She has spent the past 15 years developing community art activations and more recently corporate engagement projects. Her recent works in the Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) region as part of a small group of mana whenua endorsed artists' include:

  • GridAKL building external designs
  • BHive building at Smales Farm internal meeting pod themes
  • commissioned art work
  • 132 Halsey waterfront apartment building that will feature sculptural works

Together, Charles and Janine have exhibited and produced work around the world including large murals in Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Guam, Los Angles, New York, Miami, Australia, the U.S, Tonga, Rarotonga and also exhibited in Hong Kong, Australia and Tahiti.  As chosen members of the 2016 Aotearoa delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts, they have the honour of again representing their nation at the 2020 Hawaii FestPAC Festival and have been invited to numerous street art festivals throughout the years around the world.

Married with four children, whanau (family) and hapori (community) are an integral and important part of the artists’ full time creative journey.  They believe that a work of art is not only about the finished product but includes the relationships you build along the way with the people and communities you encounter.  Working and travelling extensively throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) and around the globe, Charles and Janine create visual stories that connect us to people and the spaces around us.

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