Artist Amanda Herbert has been putting a touch of colour into the seasonally grey, winter streets of Cambridge. The Hamilton woman has just finished turning five Chorus telecommunications into works of art, as part of the company’s Paint Your Cabinet art programme.
“I drove around Cambridge for a whole day to see what the cabinets were like. I found a few looking a bit dull and needing a fresh look,” Herbert said.
“Birds of a Feather” on Grey St: Created to be a fun and quirky piece of art for kids in the area. I love doing all kinds of art and spent a few days creating designs to suit the cabinets at Cambridge.”
Herbert had previously painted four cabinets in Hamilton so was well aware of the Chorus programme. It was started in 2010 in a bid to prevent vandalism of its cabinets.
“Phone” on conrner of Queen and Albert Sts: This is an older box in Cambridge, showing in humour, how far we have come with telephones and the internet. It found would-be taggers were far less likely to graffiti over top of another artist’s work. Herbert completed the five Cambridge murals during May. The first completed, and her favourite, was a cabinet on Pope Terrace, a busy road connecting Cambridge with Te Awamutu.
“Butterflies” on Bath St: A cabinet with a butterfly mural expresses a love of nature. Herbert designed the piece called “Rowers Ready” to celebrate the sport’s popularity in Cambridge and its base at nearby Lake Karapiro.
“This cabinet has quite a bit of traffic driving past, so I had a lot of toots from people driving by.” The cabinet was one of the larger ones because it serviced nearby developments in Cambridge Park.
“Jigsaw” on the corner of Queen and Grey Sts: This cabinet has a lot of foot traffic, with many people taking the time to view. So I painted it around the edges as well, so people could see it and it was more visible from the road. It took me about four days to do that one.”
She incorporated the Keep New Zealand Beautiful charitable trust logo, to recognise the partnership between it and Chorus. Next was a cabinet on Grey Street, close to Cambridge Middle School. It was called “Birds of a Feather” and was created to be “a fun and quirky piece of art” for kids in the area.
Herbert recalled drawing the design, ensuring the perspective was kept with the birds on the wire. She enjoyed lots of positive feedback from students. Herbert decided on another quirky design for a cabinet on the corner of Queen and Albert streets.
“I found this cabinet covered in graffiti and with black mould on it. I had fun painting it. This is an older box in Cambridge and I wanted to show in humour how far we have come with telephones and the internet.”
On Bath Street, Herbert decided to adorn a cabinet with a butterfly mural due to her love of nature. It caught the eye of a couple of tourists who stopped to take photos while she was working. Others came pass each day, to watch the mural unfold.
Lastly, Herbert completed “Jigsaw” on the corner of Queen and Grey streets. “This cabinet has quite a bit of foot traffic walking past, so I had a lot of looks from the public. The resident whose house it was outside was glad that it finally had a clean-up and a makeover.”
Herbert was happy but also humble about her work, declining an opportunity to be photographed next to one of the cabinets. But she hoped to work on more cabinet projects in the Waipa district and Hamilton in the future.
Story by Lawrence Gullery – Stuff