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17 November 2017

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Kiwi artist Owen Dippie paints Sir Ed mural for Hamilton’s St Paul’s Collegiate School

Kiwi artist Owen Dippie paints Sir Ed mural for Hamilton’s St Paul’s Collegiate School

Owen Dippie has travelled around the world creating murals for the masses. Now he’s back where it all began.

The Kiwi artist has returned to his former high school to complete an artwork commissioned by former pupils.

Once he’s wrapped up on Sunday, overlooking Hamilton’s St Paul’s Collegiate School’s tennis courts will be the face of Sir Edmund Hillary.

"It’s scary painting imagery like this because it’s so iconic and you know he means so much to so many people," Dippie said.

"In a way, it’s like paying my respects to the man. He’s iconic and the fact his wife and family will see this means a lot to me."

Dippie is accustomed to the face of Sir Ed. He has painted two other murals of the Kiwi idol.

He was also asked by the band Linkin​ Park to paint a mural of former member Chester Bennington who died in July this year.

The artwork is in the Fairfax District in Los Angeles and an image of it shared on the bands Facebook received more than 170,000 reactions.

"I've always had a fascination with painting portraiture, but inspiration-wise, it’s life in general," Dippie said.

"The temporariness of life makes you want to leave something behind. But the best thing about it is the people you encounter and the way the art affects them."

Two of Dippie’s murals were named in Huffington​ Post’s social survey of the Most Popular Murals of 2015.

His Radiant Madonna was ranked ninth while his Ninja Renaissance Masters in Brooklyn took out the top spot.

He had his first exhibition in New York in 2010 and returned for a solo show in 2015.

He'll be flying to LA in May next year for another exhibition.

Dippie is a traditionally-taught oil painter and explores the combination of contemporary pop art with well-known Renaissance pieces.

His first taste of street art was painting Christmas window displays in his hometown of Kawerau, aged 10.

Dippie, 33, was a student at St Paul’s from 1997-2001. He said his art teacher Mike Linklater revolutionised his way of thinking about art.

"I was a naughty kid, I got in trouble a lot. But when I look back on it, it was an amazing education," he said.

The mural – titled It Is Not the Mountain We Conquer But Ourselves, a quote from Sir Ed, was started on Tuesday and is set to be completed Sunday.

(Source: Stuff)