The labyrinth of university life is reflected in the new Boon mural on the Waikato campus

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Xavier Tapp creates a stunning new mural on the University of Waikato Library building, with help from fellow artist Colin Robinson.

MARK TAYLOR/Stuff

Xavier Tapp creates a stunning new mural on the University of Waikato Library building, with help from fellow artist Colin Robinson.

For freshmen at the University of Waikato, college hallways can feel like a bewildering maze of stairwells and doorways leading to mysterious rooms and arcane lecture halls.

This phenomenon is reflected in a dynamic new mural painted on the walls of the University Library – known in this field as “M-block” – by Waikato artist Xavier Tapp.

Tapp is the first of several artists gracing the walls of the college campus as part of the latest Boon on Campus festival.

An offshoot of the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival, the university version is the result of a five-year agreement between university trustees and the festival committee to liven up the campus – long known for its dull gray brutalist architecture.

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This brutalism is part of Tapp’s inspiration.

“I like the fact that I really like my geometric shapes and my colors, and the incorporation of 3D objects in my works, playing with optical illusion and visual perception.

“I wanted to create a large, detailed composition that mirrors some of those brutalist walls you can see around you…but with a more symmetrical design, with those doors to nowhere and sections that repeat over and over again.”

Xavier Tapp is one of the rising stars of the Waikato art scene, thanks to his distinctive style, inspired by brutalist architecture and the optical illusion in geometric abstraction.

MARK TAYLOR/Stuff

Xavier Tapp is one of the rising stars of the Waikato art scene, thanks to his distinctive style, inspired by brutalist architecture and the optical illusion in geometric abstraction.

The 22-year-old, born in Wellington and raised by Te Awamutu, is already causing a stir in the city with his distinctive and colorful murals and paintings. One of Tapp’s recent pieces adorns a parking lot in Liverpool St – the result of last year’s Boon Festival – and others adorn the walls of cafes and restaurants.

He is currently completing an honors degree and is working on holding an upcoming exhibition – but in the meantime he aims to work on other murals around the country.

“We hope this one will be finished and dusted by Sunday. The preparation is the hardest part. Once you start painting, things move pretty quickly.

“It’s a very interesting wall. I like the way it’s going.

Xavier Tapp's work adorns a wall in Liverpool St, Hamilton - the result of his efforts at last year's Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival.

MIKE MATHER/Stuff

Xavier Tapp’s work adorns a wall in Liverpool St, Hamilton – the result of his efforts at last year’s Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival.

Festival director Craig McClure said that, in line with recent events, this year’s Boon on Campus event proved difficult to organise.

“Like everyone else, the Omicron Effect has thrown everything upside down. Everyone was supposed to be working on murals at college this week, but half the artists are in isolation, so we have to do things right. more piecemeal way and mount the murals as we can.”

Two more projects will be launched in the first week of April, he said. One, which will adorn the Management Services building on Hillcrest Rd, will be created by two members of an artistic team known as The Dream Girls Collective – Miriama Smith and Gina Kiel, who already has a presence in Hamilton under the form of a large mural. at the Meteor Theatre.

Artists, Miriama Grace-Smith, left and Gina Kiel will also bring their funky vision to the University of Waikato for Boon on Campus.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Artists, Miriama Grace-Smith, left and Gina Kiel will also bring their funky vision to the University of Waikato for Boon on Campus.

The other will adorn a large wall on the side of the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts and will be created by Auckland artists Ross Liew and Margarita Vovna.

“It’s a shame we have to do them one at a time. It’s not quite the same awesome experience for the artists, who really feed off each other when they’re all doing their thing together… but it’s still going to be an awesome end result.

Margarita Vovna made this mural in Taupo during the Graffiato Festival 2020.

CHRIS MARSHALL/Stuff

Margarita Vovna made this mural in Taupo during the Graffiato Festival 2020.

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