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The Graceful Ascent

Arts and Culture Frankston


Phone: 1300322842

The Graceful Ascent by Phat1 and Lady Diva - March 2019

Charles (Phat1) and Janine (Lady Diva) from Auckland, New Zealand, are married with 4 children and firmly believe that family & community are an integral & important part of their full time artistic journey. They believe that a work of art is not only about the finished product but includes the relationships built along the way with the people & communities involved.


Phat1 is a founding member & 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 & who have been global leaders in the urban contemporary art field over the past 20 years.

Lady Diva is one of New Zealand’s first female urban artists & also a member of TMD & has spent the past 15 years developing community art activations & more recently corporate engagement projects. Recent works include mana whenua endorsed works in the Auckland region.

Working & travelling extensively throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) & around the globe they create visual stories that connect with the whenua (land), korero (stories) & to the tangata whenua (local people) that they encounter along the way. Their creative practice is the outworking of their passion for their Māori heritage presenting it in an urban context that features modern interpretations of cultural design along with native/endemic birdlife.

They use both bucket paint and aerosol paints.

The meaning and images of the concept for Frankston focuses on:

Kōtuku Bird: An important bird in Māori culture & symbolising the movement of our people from Aotearoa over to Australia & in particular the Frankston/Melbourne region to settle.

Colours: Yellow represents the warmth of the sun & its energy - turquoise/blue shades: acknowledging the nearby moana (ocean) & the journey across the water.

Flowers & leaves: Symbols of life & joy dispersed through the movement of the wind when moving forward into new horizons. Found when we venture forward into new seasons in our lives in search of something greater (like employment, opportunity, lifestyle).

"While preparing and designing our recent mural Janine and I couldn’t help but think of the 50 Fallen heroes and the wounded in Christchurch as it affected so many in New Zealand and around the world.

The Great egret or white heron (Kōtuku) is a local bird to Frankston Melbourne especially with a lot of creeks and wetlands near by. When we started the mural a local had spotted one just by his house in the creeks feeding. The great egret has a very spiritual connection also with Indigenous Maori of New Zealand especially around a time of tangi (mourning)

It is said by my great uncle Dr Haare Williams that the Kōtuku is the carrier of souls to Hawaiki (ancestral - spiritual home) and so 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......While we think of our 50 fallen heroes......."


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Trigger Bros, Ross Smith Ave