Village News

Mundane to magnificant

24 May 2024

Orion Point resident and artist Louis Statham

Meet Orion Point resident Louis Statham, whose talent for painting has turned an ordinary electrical box into a vibrant piece of village art!

An artist with more than 60 years’ experience, Louis has a keen eye for detail and his work truly speaks for itself.

“I started as an illustrator for newspaper ads, mostly in the NZ Herald for Farmers department store. Drawing everything from beds and furniture to hats and dresses, it was always the detailing that I enjoyed the most,” says Louis.

From illustrating to signwriting and eventually painting, the evolution of Louis’ career has developed with the times.

“Every decade there was some form of new technology that often made my skills redundant. To keep up I had to change, adapt, and develop new skills over the years.”

So in 2003 he started painting murals. Commissioned privately and by Auckland Council and KiwiRail, Louis spent 10 years creating larger than life works of art across the region. His largest mural - in Papatoetoe - was 10 metres high, 50 metres wide and took an entire month to finish.

Incredibly intricate and often very realistic, some of Louis’ works have been mistaken for the real thing.

“One mural I did of Avondale in the 1950s had a taxi stand painted in the corner. I noticed a guy had been standing waiting in front of it for some time. I told him, you’ll be waiting for a while - the last taxi came in 1955!”

Although Louis no longer paints professionally, there are special occasions when he brings out his brushes, and the electrical box at Orion Point was one of them. A significant milestone, it was his 100th mural.

“It was exciting to reach that milestone here. We have such beautiful gardens and I wanted to create something that fitted in with the surroundings.”

Village Manager Helena Pearson couldn’t agree more and was thrilled to see the mural come together.

“It has really brought the space to life,” she says. “It’s so wonderful to showcase Louis’ talent and in such a unique way. It is incredibly special to have this as a permanent piece of art at our village.”

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