Rotorua artist raises $10k for Chch shooting victims

By Jessica Tyson

Artist Vendela Patrick (Source: File)

An artist from Rotorua has raised more than $10,000 for the victims of the Christchurch terror attack through her artwork.

Vendela Patrick, of Te Arawa and Ngāti Awa, says on the day of the attack she couldn’t sleep.

“I wanted to do something. I needed to feel like I could help them,” she says.

She painted an image to symbolise her feelings.  The original painting has since been auctioned off and the design has been used to be printed on T-shirts which are for sale on her website.

The T-shirts have become so popular that they’re available to buy in Australia and are being sold on her behalf for people to wear at a mass haka planned for Friday in Perth.

She says a friend of hers, Ria Monika, is having them printed and selling them on her behalf.

Meaning behind the image

She says the image she painted symbolises that “we are all united”.  It includes a handprint design  featuring a Muslim and New Zealand wahine looking across at each other.

She says the wahine is not meant to portray a certain race.

"It’s meant to portray New Zealand as one people," she says.

She added the Muslim wahine on the other side to symbolise the Muslim community. 

“It’s my way of trying to combine our cultures together.”

The artist says she has been “blown away" by the response.

“My goal was to make $1,000 through my art so I can donate but it just went further.”

The funds raised will be donated to Victim Support’s givealittle page, which has received more than $7mil in donations.

“I know money will never replace the lives that we’ve lost," she says, “But it is allowing us to acknowledge this tragedy for the Muslim community.

"I just want to be able to help the people.  It is a sad time for all of us and I want them to know that we are here and we want to support them.”