The Robert Bartley Foundation was established in 2020 by the Bartely family. The Foundations namesake Robert Bartley was a well know and much loved business man who championed sport, business and health services in Whanganui region. The Foundation’’s purpose is to make health care more accessible by taking the services to the greater Whanganui area including Marton, Bulls, Taihape, Waiouru, Ohakune and Raetihi.
The Foundation secured the use of the old library bus to use as a mobile clinic and wanted to wrap the bus with illustrations that represented the whole region and celebrated it in a bright, vibrant, engaging way. We jumped at the chance, not only because there is a personal connection to the Bartley family and we wanted to support their work but we also loved the opportunity to illustrate Mike’s home region by putting our fun stamp on it.
We designed colourful, memorable illustrations of local icons of the region so that people can easily spot the bus as it travels around and also discover places or things they identify with. We used a beautifully graphic, geometric style of illustration that uses a cohesive, bright colour palette. We used texture and pattern to add depth. We started with Mount Taranaki, then represented the coast with the ocean, celebrating ocean life with a crab, through to a squid travelling along through the seaweed under a fishing trawler before the healthy, active surfer beside the mouth of the Whanganui River and the eel (tuna) that wraps around the stylised, curving river. Above the squid we show the black sand beach and sand dunes of the region.
Above this we feature Whanganui city with some of the iconic buildings, the Opera House, the Watt Fountain, an iconic heritage building, the War Memorial Lion statue with the stairs leading up the Sargent Gallery. These help show history, and the arts and culture of Whanganui. To the left of the Sargent we feature Virgina Lake, with reeds, the fountain, swans and ducks. Nikau Palms show some of the local flora, as well as the Kowhai to the right of the Sargent. Under this you see the river, which actually travels all the way from the mountains. Beside the river we show Kowhai Park, with the whale from the playground to represent kids and playing as well as autumn trees. The river continues under the whale, and travels past the pencils art installation and showcases the iconic Paddle Steamer Waimarie. To the right of this we have Durie & Bastia Towers on the hills.
Under these we feature the black sand dunes with Toi Tois and flax that flow into a rural scene of rolling hills, pastures and trees, adding a beautiful butterfly. Above this you see the river continuing on it’s journey as the river is a real feature of the area. We’ve placed a hawk flying over the river and feature a Kereru Wood Pigeon sitting plump and happy on a branch beside a sheep to represent all the farming around the region. Beside the sheep we feature a trout and fly fishing line to show both the fish in the river as well as the recreational sport of fishing. Under the trout is a person cycling to speak to being healthy, active and outdoors in our region as they are surrounded by various trees.
Beside this we see how the river has started at the three mountains, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, flowed down through the countryside, down waterfalls with cliffs. The river turns to the left under the cyclist, and under the river we feature a tractor, hay bale, rooster and farmer showcasing the strong rural community. Beside this is a bull to feature Bulls town. The Huntaway dog represents Hunterville as well as farming. Beside the dog is the Rangitiki River, which flows from under the gumboot of Taihape. Above the gumboot is a skier to speak to the town of Ohakune as it is a base for adventures in the Tongariro National Park. It’s also the carrot capital of New Zealand so we feature a giant carrot in the design.