Dunedin Murals

Since I moved back to Dunedin in 2017 I’ve painted quite a few small wall paintings around the city. I thought I might try to put a photo of each of them up here on my blog in the order I did them. I’m only including ones I’ve done under my own name (and not my alter-ego) and which are outside and not on interior walls. I’m also not including the ones I’ve painted outside Dunedin since I moved back.

  1. Yellow-eyed penguins on George Street. This was the first mural I painted a few weeks after I’d moved back. It was organized by Phantom Bill Stickers. My partner says it’s terrible and that the beak on the right hand penguin is all wrong. I agree – it is a bit weird. This was covered in a big tag in August 2021 and I painted the Lawrence Lions over it (see #26 below).

2. Tutankhamun inspired Egyptian sarcophagus on a wall on the corner of King Edward Street and Sullivan Avenue in South Dunedin. It was painted in the middle of winter in 2027 using gold spray paint and black acrylic. Also for Phantom Bill Stickers. It’s actually lasted really well and still looks good.

3) This chicken is on the corner of Fredrick and George Street. It was commissioned by the DCC and Chorus and was painted in February of 2018. It was tagged last week but I managed to clean it off OK.

4) Snapper Mural – on the side of the Crown Hotel in Rattray Street. This mural of the famous Dunedin band was commissioned by Jones Chin (pictured) in May of 2018. I used a photo he lent me as the reference. Peter Gutteridge (with the glasses) and drummer Alan Haig (right) were easy but Christine Voice and Dominic Stone were harder because they’re almost hidden in the photo. Peter and I used to be good buddies back in the day.

5) Royal Terrace Badgers – Two badgers just down from the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery at 61 Royal Terrace. My father really loved badgers. This little mural is for him.

6) This Chinese Ferret Badger was the first painting in my now ongoing series of small wall paintings inspired by the exhibits at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum. This is one of my favorite places in the whole world and my own museum is partly a tribute to it. It’s like stepping back into an old Victorian Museum. With each painting I have to strike a balance between being true to the antique stuffed animal and making it look life-like. There’s also the head of a stick insect because the home owners who commissioned it really like stick insects. Painted in May 2018.

7) White Sharks – another commission by a home owner in May, 2018. I couldn’t really do a lot of brush work on this corrugated garage wall and its one of the only murals I’ve done using almost entirely spray paint (usually a use a mixture of spray paint and brushes or just brushes).

8) A professional couple who were walking by when I was painting the ferret badger asked if I could paint something on their wall in Highgate and this Porcupine Fish from the Animal Attic was the first thing I painted. Apparently its a PokeStop on Pokeman Go (Whatever that is). I went on to paint nine animals from the Attic on this fence during June and July(mid-winter) of 2018. Since then the house has changed hands but the current owners are happy to leave the fence the way it is.

Giant Ant eater
One of their neighbors said the eyes on these lemurs looked ‘too crazy’ and I had to tone them down a bit. Have you ever seen lemur’s eyes? They do look a bit crazy!
Photo from the Otago Daily Times photographer Stephen Jaquiery

9) The stuffed Green Turtle that this painting is based on resides in the Animal Attic. Private commission in Broad Bay – September 2018.

10) Freddie Mercury on the side of Queen Street. Painted in October 2018 for the building owner. You’d think Freddie would be easy but I had quite a bit of trouble getting a likeness from the photo I used. Painting the crown was fun. I like painting crowns.

11) NZ Coastal Fish (as well as a deep sea angler fish) on the side of a private house in North Road in North East Valley. Private Commission January 2019.

Leather jacket and a Mado

12) Hares and other objects belonging to the owner(including the rabbit skull to the left of the hare) on the side of a private garage in Port Chalmers. This is only a detail of the right side of the wall. May 2019.

13) Hoowinker Sunfish – on the side of The Lead Balloon Cafe on the One Way System. It’s based on the cast of the one on display in the foyer at Otago Museum. May 2019.

14) A painting of Hooper’s Inlet and Papanui Inlet looking down from Highcliff Road. Private Commission. June 2020. Like a lot of my murals it looks way better than this photo.

15) Theropod dinosaur on the side of Crusty Corner in North East Valley. Commissioned by Otago Museum to promote a travelling exhibition. September 2020. I’m keen to paint something else on this wall.

16) Bengal Fox – another animal from the Animal Attic. A private commission on the side of a garage in Roseneath. November 2020.

17) Flying Kiwi’s, Crazy Tea pots and other native birds on the side of the Waitati Hall. Commissioned by Mandy Mayhem and the Waitati Community Board. December 2020.

18) Gef the Talking Mongoose – hidden down an alley way off Moray Place. I got caught painting this by the building owner on the morning of Christmas Day, 2020 but she let me off because I think she liked my work. Who is Gef? Google him!

19) A giant wheke (octopus) crawling round the side of the Broad Bay Hall. Organized by Amber and Zoe and the Broad Bay Community. Painted on Boxing Day 2020.

20) A Karaerea (native falcon)painted on a brick wall for The Valley Project in North East Valley. March 2021.

21) Tutara Guardian for Bland Park in Waitati. Commissioned by Mandy Mayhem and the Waitati Community Board. March 2021.

22) Screaming Roosters for the Screaming Rooster Cafe and Bar at 9 Stafford Street. They’re in the alley way beside the entrance to the gallery/bar.

24) Laundromutts in Kaikorai Valley – April 2021

25) Mud Puppy Skeleton – based on the one at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum – Andersons Bay – May 2021

26) The Lawrence Lions – these two lions were painted over the Hoiho/Yellow Eyed Penguins (see Mural #1) after it was tagged over. in August 2021. These two lions were shot when they escaped from a circus in Lawrence in 1978. Their bodies were taxidermized and they are now on display at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum.
27. Three Hoiho /Yellow-Eyed Penguins in Burlington Street just off Moray Place for Team Hoiho – December 2021
28. On Boxing Day 2021 I added a sea anemone to the side of the Broad Bay Community Hall. Thank you Zoe Fox and the team in Broad Bay!
29. This mural depicting nocturnal animals and the night sky on the side of the Victoria Hotel in Dunedin but its not just your usual mural. It’s painted with UV paints and there’s some big UV lights up above it that will come on when it gets dark revealing a whole new look to the mural that you can’t see during the day. As far as I know this is the very first light reactive mural with built in UV lights anywhere in Aotearoa. Thanks to the Dodd-Walls Centre at Otago University, Otago Museum Dunedin Street Art, Laser Electrical Services UV Gear, The Victoria Hotel and Hirepool Ltd. Nighttime photo by Alan Dove. January 2022.
The night time photo really doesn’t do it justice. In real life it really glows.
30. A temporary painting on plywood on Hanover Street opposite the Crown Hotel which was done for a TV shoot in early February, 2022. The bird is a White Fronted Tern and the painting is based on the specimen in the Animal Attic.
31) An unknown species of jellyfish and a transparent octopus painted on the side of a garage in Wales Street in Maori Hill in February 2022.
32. A colourful private commission in Aotea Street in Andersons Bay – February 2022
33. A tuatara based on the specimen at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum – February 2022 – in Edward Street in Abbotsford

34. A Giant Malayan Squirrel based on the taxidermized specimen at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum. Painted in Balmoral Street in Opoho – March 2022
35. The Desert Monitor from the Animal Attic at Otago Museum on a wall in Lock Street in Concord – March 2022
36. A kiwi from Otago Museum on the wall of Bill Brosnan’s bookshop on the one-way system heading north. (March 2022)
37.An ‘Animal Attic’ piece painted in Corstorphine on the side of a house opposite the Middleton Road shopping center. This one is based on a glass model of a Bobtail squid made by genius father and son team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka who produced thousands of accurate glass models for museums and universities between around 1850 and the 1930’s
38. In late April I painted almost thirty local marine animals on three long thins walls opposite Wakari School in Shetland Street. This is just one of the three walls.
38. Detail on the Wakari Wall Marine Mural

38. Detail on the Wakari Wall Marine Mural (2)

38. Detail on the Wakari Wall Marine Mural(3)
39. A nautilus shell painted on the back of Otago Girl’s High School for the principal. The nautilus is one of the symbols of the school. It’s based on the nautilus shell on display at the Animal Attic at Otago Museum. (May 2022)

40. A kaka and a kereru having a cup of tea. This private commission is on a wall at 230 High Street and references a detail on painting number 17 – the Waitati Hall Mural (late May 2022)

41. A painting of Hair Raiser Tours, Andrew Smith, down Black Dog Alley on Moray Place. November 2022.


About artordeath

Bruce Mahalski is a Dunedin artist, known for his illustration, street murals, and sculpture incorporating animal bones. He is founder and director of the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery, a private museum of natural history and ethnographic objects and curios.
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