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Sam Ovens paints a bigger picture

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Over the past two weeks the walls of Dunedin’s revived warehouse precinct have been given a facelift. Ten artists have been involved in creating the city’s first street art festival. Among some overseas and out-of-town talent is local Sam Ovens.


Usually a screenprinter, he jumped into doing his first peice of street art ‘Q: Are We Not Bats A: We Are Completely Bats!’ with some buckets of paint and some brushes. “It’s not the most conventional way, but I’m not a conventional guy,” he says.

Ovens courted controversy a couple years ago in Nelson, when an exhibition called Loud, Snotty and Loaded was removed from the RH Gallery at Woollaston Estates in Nelson by the gallery owners.

The works included a picture of the Pope surrounded by condoms and a swastika.

“In New Zealand someone gets offended, someone’s gotta take it down … There’s lots of things that offend me, but I’m not going to go ‘hey, take it down’,” says Ovens.

“I think it’s healthy for us to have people we don’t agree with around us to give another point of view.”

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