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Lockdown brings the circus back to Narrow Neck

Flagstaff Team

Stage door… Gretchen Scott-Blyth’s portrayal of circus scenes entertained her young neighbours

A circus mural was painted by Gretchen Scott-Blyth on her Narrow Neck garage door during lockdown to brighten the lives of neighbouring children.

The garage door on her Old Lake Rd home had previously remained “under- coated” in the 26 years she had lived there.

At the start of lockdown, Scott-Blyth decided to use a collection of Resene test pots to create a circus scene. The idea was to paint a character a day for next-door neighbours Freddie (5) and Clover (2).

It didn’t quite work out that way, but that didn’t bother Freddie – “who got to choose a juggler.” Other children down the long driveway to her house have also loved watching the mural unfold.

Scott-Blyth studied art at Elam, Univer- sity of Auckland, but it wasn’t unti she was

46 that she took up painting, art-tutoring and teaching.

She has a few “patrons” of her work lo- cally and mainly does commissions.

Scott-Blyth has always loved clowns and circuses. “Remember when the circus used to come to Narrow Neck?” she says. [Weber Bros visited Woodall Park for a number of years.]

Some of the characters on the mural are from circuses she saw while living in Paris. “Its been such good weather – I usually

pop out and do a couple of hours a day.” The mural is now almost complete, minus a few touch-ups with a blue test pot, and protective coating, which will guarantee its longevity.

When the lockdown is over, a neighbourhood circus party is planned.

This article originally appeared in the 8 May 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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