Windows over Wānaka

Is this the worlds biggest colouring-in collaboration?

As part of the 2021 Festival of Colour, Windows Over Wānaka was an epic take-over of Helwick Street. The project brought together local school students, awesome shop owners, poetry from Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, and visuals from Michel Tuffery.

Tuffs was also having his own take-over of Wānaka as he took part in this project, as well as having a solo exhibition at Wānaka’s Gallery 33 to display his most recent works.

Big thanks to the amazing students of Mount Aspiring College who brought their creative mahi to the game, the artistic tools from Gordon Harris, and massive respect to all the wonderful shop owners who kindly loaned their shopfront windows. Got to love a collaborative, community effort!


The Festival of Colour is Wānaka’s flagship arts event. It highlights a variety of artistic practises over a week in April. The festival is an opportunity to share the talents of others, bringing community together, and support local businesses. Windows Over Wānaka connect this all together with a visual installation that lasts the length of the festival.

Geting Started

The project started at Mount Aspiring College and Holy Family School, with Selina Tusitala Marsh ONZM. Selina is a poet and academic, and was the New Zealand Poet Laureate for 2017–2019. She worked with the students on a collection of haiku’s that would be the inspiration for the project, and tie it together. The haiku’s share how the student’s view Wānaka and celebrate it’s natural beauty.

Creating the Windows

The first stage of the install on the Helwick Street windows featured Tuff’s pasting up vinyls of letters from his Font collections. The next stage was to outline the graphics and set up the mural ready for the students involvement.

The students of Mount Aspiring College received a briefing from Tuffs, put on a bright orange jacket and added their contribution to the creation.

Finished pieces

Check out the gallery of the full decorated Helwick Street for Windows Over Wānaka.

If you have an upcoming festival, or are an organisation that would like to work with Michel, please get in touch.