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11 August 2011

NZ Police - Street Art Campaign by Otis Frizzell

 The NZ Police recruitment campaign "You too can do something extraordinary" highlighted heroic actions of police in their own local communities. The pieces were created by renowned New Zealand artist Otis Frizzell. The story behind each can be viewed on the NZ Police website here

"You can do something extraordinary - Become a cop"

Artist Otis Frizzell with the officers who inspired his artwork
- Constable Julia Vahry (left) and Madeline Roberts (right)

This piece in Wellington portrays Detective Kylie Schaare, who has done exceptional work with the Wellington Child Protection team as a protector of a young child. A clever additional detail - at night a light projection casts the shadow of an offender advancing on the child. After watching the video background on this particular stencil this is so much more sinister and really does send chills up you. 

This one in Christchurch shows a police officer  comforting families in the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake. 

Obvious by it's admission - this is the only piece not backed by press releases or a video online. This is also installed in Christchurch and despite still being up it's not mentioned anywhere. Can be somewhat safely assumed that this is due to the negative press that surrounded it's unveiling. It seems to reference a well known scene of a policemen pulling a male victim of the earthquake from the rumble, unfortunately the victim died and the footage become one of the most memorable from the tragedy.  The similarities caused understandable upset for the family. The police responded saying the victim shown is actually a female but given the police officer was based on the same person it's understandable that this change didn't make it ok. Consultation with the family would have been the logical first move, it seems a shame such a beautiful campaign was tarnished by this controversy. 
“Graffiti is often seen as a common scourge, so we’re flipping convention on its head”
~ Otis Frizzell

Photos sourced from NZ Police media releases here

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