Words on Walls

Pick up a map and seek out the whimsical, witty and wise words hidden amongst the Art Deco streets of Napier.

Head out for a stroll in the mid-town precinct and it doesn’t take long to work out the theme of the inner city streets in this Eastern city. Great English writers are remembered in the lanes and main streets, so if your passion is literature, you’ll feel right at home.

In keeping with the attractive Art Deco architecture, a smattering of literary jewels have been painted on walls around town.  Shakespeare features heavily as is expected with the main street leading up the hill bearing his name and the Municipal Theatre proclaiming: “All the World’s a Stage”.  Emerson, Tennyson and Browning are all honoured in tucked away corners, to be sought out and pondered upon.

Crouch down low on Theatre Lane and you’ll find Janet Frame, New Zealand’s literary matriarch professing her preference for coffee sponge.  My favourite however, is from Barbara Anderson who states: “I never know what to do with gossip so I just pass it on”. How apt!

I hear there are many walls to be painted and many new words to adorn our fair city.  In conjunction with the Words on Walls theme, whimsical artwork has appeared on electricity boxes around the inner city to surprise and delight.  Local artist Tara Cooney has been working her magic on otherwise ugly public electricity boxes weaving her tales of Napier… a good yarn.  Keep an eye out for these gems around town.

Take time out to visit Napier while touring the North Island, and partake in your own literary and artistic walking tour.  Feed the mind and the senses.

Written by Fiona Simon