Faded Fantasy

When wandering around Dunedin on 21 May 2018, I came across this rather faded looking mural on a wall facing the Scenic Circle Southern Cross Hotel carpark, just off High Street. It didn’t make much sense to me and I found it a puzzling artwork. I did a search and found it was painted in May 2015 by Polish street artist Bezt. I’ve also found the answer to why I found it so puzzling – I’ll explain after the photos.


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The little bird below is our native fantail, an exquisitely cute little bird that flits around constantly on the hunt for flying insects.

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But I couldn’t understand why the girl’s hands are positioned as they are (above).

Close-up of the artist’s signature part of the mural.

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After reading about the mural online I found Bezt had originally planned to paint a man waiting in a bar and holding a bottle but when he saw the wall he decided to paint something different. He painted a woman lying on the forest floor clutching arrows protruding from her stomach. While the Council was processing the new consent a couple of complaints were received so Bezt was pressured to change the mural; the arrows were removed and the fantail added. Read the full New Zealand Herald article.

The title of the artwork is When The Hunter Becomes The Hunted. If you click on this link you’ll see photos of what the original painting with the arrows looked like.

I’ve previously done a blog-post on another mural that’s in the same carpark, directly opposite, painted in Feb 2018. Its a fascinating mural by Jacob Yikes from Christchurch. See Cartoon Surrealism

— Dunedin, New Zealand


Text and Photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

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14 thoughts on “Faded Fantasy

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  1. Really interesting post! I don’t find the original mural offensive, but I’m “over” cultural references that show women as victims so I prefer the current version. Jane (also a gardener, also from Mudgee).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont find the original mural offensive and don’t really understand why anyone would, really. It was certainly very vibrant when it was first painted, shame it’s faded so much.
    Those kinds of hunting accidents happen here too, from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t found anything that explains what references the artist had in mind when he decided to paint a woman laying on the forest floor with arrows in her body! I wondered if it was some reverse reference to Diana the Huntress but that seems kinda unlikely. I thought the mural looked pretty faded but seeing photos of how it looked in its original state removed all doubt!

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    1. I agree with you Ellen. The original mural is troubling and I haven’t seen anything about why he dreamed up such a scenario. In some ways though its strangely appropriate. NZ is notorious for its dark movies and dark stories. Heavens knows why. And hunting is a very popular activity in NZ but every year there’s guys who go and accidentally shoot their buddy or much-loved relative, mistaking them for a deer. Occasionally a stranger, but usually some one they know who’s hunting in the same patch of bush. Its tragic but it happens every year despite all the safety warnings before the season starts. Usually guys. One woman was killed at a campground at night when somebody out “spotlighting” (from a vehicle on the road, illegal of course) mistook her for a deer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A dark place in that mind, for sure. That is so sad, especially the woman, just minding her own business. We have the same hunting accidents here, too, although I don’t know the rate. Several of the Wildlife Management Areas we frequent have scheduled hunts and we don’t go anywhere near on those days.

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