Artist Fa’amele Etuale will be in 62 High Street from 1-15 December painting her design The Guardian live on a whale tail sculpture to be installed for WWF’s Whale Tales 2022 trail. The trail features 80 whale tail sculptures designed by 80 artists and telling 80 tales for one critical mission: to help protect and restore the mauri (life force) of our Ocean. Fa’amele’s design depicts the importance of whales and their role as guardians of the sea.

From 24 January – 18 April 2022, a trail of unique and stunning whale tail sculptures, designed by artists and children, sponsored by businesses & organisations will be on display all over Auckland as part of the Whale Tales event. Inspired by the Bryde’s Whale that can be found in the Hauraki Gulf, there will be 80 sculptures that will dot Auckland’s streets, parks, and open spaces to provide residents and visitors a fresh opportunity to explore the City of Sails.

Heart of the City are sponsoring the Whale Tail that Artist Fa’amele Etuale will be painting called “The Guardian”. Once complete, 'The Guardian' will be one of the 19 whale tails on the trail within the city centre, and will sit proudly in Freyberg Place.

We spoke with Fa'amele Etuale to learn the concept behind her design: “The question I asked myself is how can I depict the importance of the whale in one design and the answer was simple: they are like guardians of the sea, their presence in the ocean is unparalleled by any other mammals and that is why I wanted to include the seabed in my design. I also included turtles, fish and jellyfish and starfish which are very symbolic in my Samoan culture and are very significant in a lot of the work I do and continue to connect me to the sea. Why yellow? I want to capture the attention of the audience and draw them into the piece and when they see the colour yellow it will draw them to wherever the tale will be placed. Curiosity and questions will bring them to the Whale tale. Yellow is also an iconic colour in my practice and I am not afraid to use it to support this message that is so important. To protect, and to keep them safe.”

Live painting times:

  • Monday Dec 6: 10am - 4pm 
  • Wednesday Dec 8: 11- 4pm 
  • Saturday Dec 11: 11am – 6pm 
  • Sunday Dec 1: 11am – 6pm 
  • Monday Dec 13: 11am – 6pm 

Park for $2 per hour, to a maximum of $10 on evenings and weekends at the Victoria St car park. Find out more.

Last updated: 16 September 2021