Welcome to Banks Peninsula, home of The Hector’s dolphins and eco-tourism pioneers Black Cat Cruises


In September 2021, Blue Cradle collaborated with community actors, local artists and key sponsors to create “The Ocean is in our Hands” mural at ‘The Crossing’, corner of Colombo & Lichfield streets, in Ōtautahi/Christchurch. Have you seen it?

One year on the city of Christchurch is celebrating its one year anniversary, on the eve of Days Of Ice:

”Ōtautahi Christchurch is pr

oud to be one of only five Antarctic Gateway cities in the world. Celebrate the opening of the Antarctic Summer science season and Christchurch’s unique connections with Antarctica with eleven days of events and activities. The programme has something for everyone, including events, activations, exhibitions, guest speakers and polar films, as well as kids’ activities and competitions.”


As part of Days of Ice Black Cat Cruises has partnered with Blue Cradle this year as a sponsor and judge of their art competition….The Ocean is in YOUR hands. 

For more information about the colouring competition please click the link below



We chatted to Olly Kade; one of the two mural artists about their experience creating this iconic piece of art in the centre of Christchurch. Here’s what they had to say….

OLLY KADENow I personally have always been keenly attuned to the ocean, growing up on boats, along coasts and a little animal crazy -especially marine! So you can only imagine my excitement when a whale I haphazardly threw together on a wall at Exchange Christchurch caught Blue Cradle’s founder James Nikitine’s eye. That was 2 years ago this December and it was a delightful surprise when James asked if I wanted to do something bigger!

Ironically only this morning I was flicking through a 5 year journal where you ask daily questions and one of the things even at the age of eighteen when I wasn’t creating at all, I had noted Creative Activism as my ultimate career path! Now I can truly say that is a reality, especially with some of the opportunities that have come through from working with this team and on such a large central scale.


It to

ok a few months for some funding to be secured for ‘The Ocean is in Our Hands’ and plans to begin, but we all came together in Autumn 2021 to discuss ideas on how to relay the message of ocean conservation. I laced together a simple design with lots of meaning that we all felt could work and with the help of Pops baker (Popx art) we refined my rampant sketching to a slightly surreal photo realistic depiction of endemic species. It was important that we brought light especially to the species that are closest to us, such as Hector’s dolphins -our South island champions and the white flippered penguin which is only found in Banks Peninsula. Those penguins also relate back to an earlier collaboration of Blue Cradle’s with Pohatu in Akaroa!


Coming from a paint consulting background and coming into winter I suggested we wait til Spring to begin for best case application and so our date was marked, although temporarily postponed due to the national second lockdown. Thankfully only a week late, Pops, James and Natasha S. McIntosh (another fabulous member of the Blue Cradle team) were able to begin priming on the 11th of September 2021. Recalling now, I was still in a sling from fracturing my elbow only a few weeks before!


The next week presented many challenges as we began to lay out a grid (lots of maths) and start to carve out our shapes with chalk! I’m so grateful Pops had the thought to do so, because I have a more lenient tendency to just paint as I go! I think one of the funniest days was realising the centre of our circle did not equate to the centre of our wall, so 8 metre or so up I got to work with a piece of chalk and scrap cardboard dividing things down to the actual correct placement! Woohoo!


Once we finally managed to get the skeleton out of the way, it was time to start applying colour! This is where a truly beautiful engagement started to begin with the people walking by! Questions were asked, treats delivered, we even found a super fan in someone who I’d say we all call a friend now as she walked to work each day! Our creatures shaped, as did our relationship as a team. I can promise you one fast way to get to know others, is to be thrown up on a tiny platform in the cold start of spring scribbling on a wall a few inches from your face trying to scale an image 20 times your size.

I think in the end we put something pretty phenomenal into our city, a breath of our coast upon the concrete jungle which I hope can stick around to inspire the next generation (and everyone really) to protect our oceans!


I genuinely have so much gratitude reflecting upon this, over a year since our start date, although a little shy of the end date! However challenging it was at the time, we really did finish it together! Now we are days away from Days of Ice which I unfortunately personally can’t attend, but I am so immensely grateful there will be a celebration of the work we did and start a real conversation about what we can do!


-Olly Kade


Olly Kade (OK_Creates) links:


Blue Cradle

Link: https://bluecradle.org/

To read more about The Ocean Is In Your Hands mural in Christchurch please click here

Ocean Mural


Explore Days of Ice between 29 September and 9 October 2022 and be inspired by our city’s links to Antarctica.

Find out more about Days of Ice please click the link below



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