17 February 2010

The library mural

The picture at the head of this blog is a mural on the eastern wall of the library.
It was painted by Sue Trayler, an English artist who lived on the island with her husband for three years.
Sue Trayler and her husband received island gifts at the unveiling of the mural.
(Photo: Cook Islands News)
The mural shows an island woman holding a book with Cook Islands stories emanating from it, including the creation myth with father sky and mother earth, Rangi and Papa, being separated by their children. There’s also the story of Maui slowing down the sun.
Many plants, animals and birds are shown, among them the beautiful green and red Rimataka lorikeet, kura, signifying hope. The kura was then extinct in the Cook Islands but has since been reintroduced from French Polynesia onto the outer island of Atiu.
The voyaging traditions of Polynesians are represented by ocean-going canoes on the right side of the mural as well as a tattoo symbol of a bird which morphs into a frigate bird and then a plane, the vehicle of choice for most modern travelling Cook Islanders.
The concept of using stories flowing from the book was Jean Mason’s, (then museum curator but now librarian and curator).
Sue chose and painted images typical of Cook Islands culture, legends and history
Paints, brushes and scaffolding were all donated by local businesses.
The mural was unveiled in March 2005.

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