Roy Cowan was commissioned in 1972 to create a mural for the new headquarters of NMA Wright Stephenson Holdings Ltd in Europa House, at 109 Featherston Street, designed by Lewis Walker, Glossop and Company.
The mural is a ceramic and glass work that covers the entire back wall, floor to ceiling, of the building’s ground floor lift lobby. It is understood that the selection of Cowan was because of the large ceramic work he had created for New Zealand for Expo in Japan in 1970.
In a 1970s style, the mural at 109 Featherston Street is made up of many colourful ceramic tiles representing the entire New Zealand agricultural, horticultural, forestry and marine sectors, with a large sun in the centre.
For the same building, a sculptural garden complex with large forms made in ferro-cement, was constructed by Stephen McCarthy and Rowan Cowan.
The mural is still in its original location, however previous building owner, AMP Capital, covered the mural over twice, as part of the lobby/building refurbishments in 2008 and 2017. The property is currently listed in the ownership of PSPIB/CPPIB Waiheke.
The article 'On assembling a mural in a public building' that Cowan published in New Zealand Potter. (vol.14, no.2. Spring 1972: 46-48) is an account of the installation of this mural.
- Interior view of Europa House, taken for the Walker Company Partnership in 1973 by K E Niven and Co, commercial photographers of Wellington at the National Library. Photograph shows the Roy Cowan mural at the far end of the foyer.