Season 1

Askew One

Contains explicit language. Discretion advised.

The Artwork

TITLE: Opal, 2014

LOCATION: Walton Street Cafe, Te Awamutu, New Zealand

In this episode Elliot ‘Askew’ ODonnell takes us through his journey from graffiti writer to artist. It’s been a long process for him to establish an understanding of who he is, where he is speaking from, and who he is speaking to with his art practice. After almost two decades in Graffiti, there doesn’t seem much left to prove and he is clearly inspired by the momentum and understanding he has reached with his latest body of work.

Always articulate, there was so much that we couldn’t address within the confines of this format but some crucial issues are discussed; including the idea of what it is to be part of contemporary New Zealand, and part of the wider Pacific Island community, as well as the realities of sacrifice that must be negotiated in the pursuit of an arts practice. For someone who has achieved so much it seems that there is so much more yet to be achieved.

The Artist

ASKEW ONE is recognised worldwide for his unique approach to graffiti art and remains at the forefront of the international art scene through constantly exploring new and exciting styles in a world of imitators. With over 20 years of experience and the need to reach out to the world from his home in remote New Zealand, Askew is self-taught in graphic design, illustration, photography, publishing, directing and editing music videos and moving images.

Find Askew One online



The subject of public art regularly inspires intense debate. We want to allow everyone to have a voice, please join the discussion below.


The beauty of art on the street is that it is there for everyone to enjoy. No need to step foot into a gallery, the street is the gallery.

Walton Street Cafe, Te Awamutu, New Zealand



About – If These Walls Could Talk

For general enquiries and correspondence please contact [email protected]

Launching October 2014, If These Walls Could Talk is a collection of stories about people who like to paint walls.

A series of mini documentaries follow Askew One, Benjamin Work, BMD, Elliot Francis Stewart and Mica Still as they take us into the heart of their creative worlds.

It takes a close look at the practice of some of the artists from Aotearoa’s street art and graffiti community. It explores what compels them to paint outside, what drives them artistically, and how they navigate identity, community, ownership and the creative process.

ITWCT seeks to build understanding around the roles artists working within this field can play in contributing towards out built environments, how they can activate space and discussion, and how they successfully operate within the dynamic framework presented by the street.

New Zealand has a strong field of artists working within this field who are developing a vernacular that address’ our cultural identity as a Pacific Island nation, our inherent relationship to the land, a distinct point of view in a global context and an ability to examine issues around contemporary culture in an effective and arresting manner.



ITWCT is a document of NZ culture, exploring both art and the prodigious musical talent that has been developing over the last few years. The series features music from Ben Jammin, Jay Knight, Haan 808, Miso Shiru, Samuel Truth, The Basement Tapes and Tommy Flowers.

If These Walls Could Talk is made with the help of NZ On Air through their Ignite Digital Media Fund.

You can find out more about it here.


Our Crew

Produced by: Ross Liew
Directed by: Ross Liew, Dena Kennedy, Priscilla Northe and Blake Dunlop
Filmed by: Priscilla Northe and Blake Dunlop
Edited by: Dena Kennedy
Website by: Regan Vause

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