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The team from Zeal doesn’t just mentor and support young musicians, they’re getting behind our emerging visual artists, too. By Honourary Maverick, GRACE KING.

When 18-year-old Wellington graffiti artist Chimp heard about Zeal Wellington from some friends, he knew he wanted to get involved. “Youth organisations like Zeal are so important so that new generations have an outlet,” he said. “They are important to support young people pursuing their dreams, just like they gave me the opportunity to follow mine.”

After contacting Scott, Zeal’s Wellington manager, Chimp soon found a way that he could make his mark: The Zeal Graffiti Wall was born!

Under the guidance of the Zeal team, Chimp designed his work around the Maori concept of Te Whare Tapa Whā; what people need in their lives to be healthy and whole. Each of the characters represents one of the different factors of Te Whare Tapa Whā; a baby chimpanzee for Family and Community (taha whānau), a sad girl for Emotional/Mental Health (taha hinengaro), a koi fish for Physical Health (taha tinana) and a lion for Spiritual Health (taha wairua). The design was done entirely by Chimp, with his own choice of colour – a pink base with brown highlights.

Zeal Wellington provided the paint and the brief, but it was Chimp who was the genius behind it all. His work is “unique and creative,” said Scott, “with a style and approach unlike any other street art in Wellington.”

It’s the largest piece Chimp has done to date, and he’s pretty proud of what he’s done; the Lion and Fish on the left side are his favourite characters, and the way it all flows together across the canvas is pretty important to the piece.

In having these opportunities available for youth, Zeal is making sure that young people have a voice, which is so important in our society.

By providing a place to hang out, build confidence and start to think about about what they want to do in life, Zeal offers something unique to the next generation of musicians, writers and artists. It’s a place to learn and grow, and it provides a way for youth to have a powerful, commanding voice around the country – a voice that can’t be ignored.

These are just some of the factors that led Chimp to Zeal, and they are why he’s sticking around to make art and make a difference.

Both Chimp and Scott have said they’d do a similar project again, so look out Wellington! Some more mean-as art might be coming your way soon.

 

 

Chimp-Tag

Check out Chimp at facebook.com/chimpartist

 

Zeal is a youth organisation passionate about young people creating great stuff. If you’re based in West Auckland, Wellington or Hamilton, pop into one of our youth facilities and say hi. Visit us online at www.zeal.org.nz

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