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AUCKLAND, Today: People around the world have been mugged by events in 2020. In these times of lockdown and distress, moments of beauty are more precious than ever.

That’s why Auckland-based artist Lester Hall decided to spend his lockdown time in the studio, creating original artworks that reference the extraordinary times we’re living through.

The artwork you see above in the calloused hands of ed David Gapes was one of several featured in the current Phantom Billstickers banner ad on the M+AD site.

Hall explains the thinking behind his new poster series: “I wanted to bring some positivity into the situation. We all need to work together to get through these hard times, and it’s easier if the message is attached to an image you love.”

“There’s a beauty in what we’re doing, and I believe it will be something that will change who we are.”

Play safe, be kind, stay home, ake ake Aotearoa. “Simple phrases interwoven with beautifully crafted images, such as the young Queen Elizabeth wearing a face mask, or a tui flying free. They draw on our love of heritage, our feelings of freedom and the land we are lucky to live in. And they brighten our day.”

So why did Hall partner with Phantom?

“I think street posters are wonderfully real. They’re part of a moment in people’s lives when they’re walking the dog or waiting for a bus. And they’re real for me because I spend a lot of time on the streets of Auckland.

“I was chatting to a friend who works for Phantom, and I mentioned my lockdown project. Phantom loved the idea and got behind it. It’s awesome they’ve stepped up.”

Hall is a believer in the power of posters to support positive change.

“There’s a beauty in what we’re all doing, and I believe it will be something that will change who we are. Art can help give us the energy and positivity to stay on track.”

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