VIDEO: Hula Recalls Battling The Tides While Painting His New Saint John Mural

Hula's Ko'ana mural, a marketing project led by Discover Saint John. Image: screen shot from video by Sean Yoro (Hula).

SAINT JOHN – World renowned Hawaiian artist Sean Yoro (known as “Hula”) shares with the world his experience of painting in Saint John, New Brunswick for the second time.

Hula’s first mural for the Port City was worn away by algae because it was painted right on the sea wall that and was mostly covered at high tide.

This time the artist and his partners Discover Saint John (DSJ) decided they wanted to preserve his work, so DSJ constructed and installed a metal canvas for Hula to paint his next mural upon and then be preserved and displayed year-round.

Many variables needed to be taken into account and when working on the mural, which he named “Ko’ana,” from calculating height and reach to avoiding getting suck on the soft, muddy ocean floor during low tide.

“What makes the bay so unique is that it is home to the largest tide changes in the world, with some areas even coming in at 43 feet,” said Hula in a  newly released video about his latest project in Saint John.

“No where else will I be able to use the sea’s natural tidal changes as my scaffolding in order to paint a mural on a large scale.”

He and his crew were like an artistic pit stop crew, scrambling to paint and add details before the moment is lost.

The first notable difference this time around was the incredible amount of wake and current happening right around the wall. This made balancing on my paddleboard that much harder especially after these long 12-hour painting sessions when my legs and core would be completely exhausted.”

The surrounding nature was a wealth of inspiration for Hula.

“I wanted to encompass our experience of discovering the tree-lined shores and how the tides gradually reveals new layers with the receding tide into the mural.”

“It has been such a surreal process that I’ll never forget.”

Home is where the heart is, and Hula would agree there is plenty of heart to be found in Saint John.

“We were able to connect with such great people in this tight knit community that welcomed us with the same aloha spirit that we feel back home in Hawaii.”

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