Street artist Wongi Wilson celebrates Black Ferns with new artwork

Christchurch artist Wongi Wilson says the new artwork is a celebration of Kendra Cocksedge’s “explosion of talent”.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

Christchurch artist Wongi Wilson says the new artwork is a celebration of Kendra Cocksedge’s “explosion of talent”.

Christchurch street artist Wongi Wilson’s new city centre artwork pays tribute to a local Black Ferns legend ahead of the opening of the women’s Rugby World Cup next month.

Wilson, who is well known for his large scale painted murals on blank walls across Christchurch, has created an artwork paying tribute to the “explosive talent” of Black Ferns star and Canterbury player Kendra Cocksedge.

The artwork was created by Wilson, then printed on vinyl and pasted into the windows of the Christchurch Town Hall.

He said he wanted to support the world cup and celebrate Cocksedge’s career.

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“She is a legend,” he said.

“She is such a machine and has achieved so much in her career.

“It is quite an honour to honour her.”

Wongi said the artwork was about the “explosive nature of her talent”.

“It is a beautiful representation and acknowledgement of her achievements.”

Kendra Cocksedge, middle, before a Black Ferns game against the Australia Wallaroos in Tauranga on June 6, 2022.

Andy Jackson/Getty Images

Kendra Cocksedge, middle, before a Black Ferns game against the Australia Wallaroos in Tauranga on June 6, 2022.

The artwork is one of many celebrating women’s rugby to spring up in cities across New Zealand as part of the build up to the Rugby World Cup 2021, which starts on October 8 at Eden Park in Auckland.

New artworks celebrating women’s rugby have also been unveiled in other centres: three in Auckland, two in Whangarei, and one in Hamilton.

Cocksedge said playing a Rugby World Cup on home soil was “a dream come true”, and she hoped the national artwork exhibition would capture imaginations.

“Support for all the nations playing and our rugby sisterhood is vital to transmitting the power and opportunity of rugby to women and girls around the world.”

Cocksedge in action for the Black Ferns against Australia in Tauranga in June.

Aaron Gillions/Photosport

Cocksedge in action for the Black Ferns against Australia in Tauranga in June.

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