A commemorative art piece following the March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch has been unveiled in Wellington by the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation, in association with the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, Muslim Students Association (VicMuslim) and members of the Kilbirnie mosque community.
The art piece, named ‘Weaving Hope’, tells the story of loss and hope. It acknowledges the grief over the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch but presents a vision of hope for a more unified, accepting and diverse Aotearoa.
Wellington-based muralist Ruth Robertson-Taylor created the art piece over six months, with consultation and key contributions from the Muslim community.
Flowers are featured quite heavily in the mural’s design. Local furniture maker Mahmoud Shagouri worked with the artist to carve 51 flowers to represent the 51 lives lost in the tragedy. The flowers come from various places around the world – a reminder that Islam is a diverse global faith, and a faith practiced in New Zealand.
Vodafone NZ Foundation Chair, Antony Welton, said: “In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks, the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation along with its employee group ‘Vodafone Muslim Network, Salam’, wanted to do something to commemorate those lost in the tragedy to reinforce the message of unity, while inviting all to learn about the Muslim faith.
“At Vodafone we’re committed to fostering a deeply embedded culture of inclusion. One that values the full diversity of our people, our customers and the communities we serve. This mural reflects our desire as an organisation to take positive action from a devastating event, and demonstrate the kindness and generosity that sits at the core of Aotearoa. Out of tragedy must come unity.”
The location of the mural in Te Ngākau, Civic Square, was selected due to being a high foot-traffic area, and was facilitated by the Wellington City Council.
For more information on the design, please visit https://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/behindthemural/
The Vodafone NZ Foundation has a vision to see all young people in New Zealand living lives they value - this includes living in an environment with unity and inclusion at the heart. For more information about the Vodafone NZ Foundation, please visit http://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/