Earlier this year at Semi Permanent we spoke with Dick Frizzell (see video HERE), who gave us a taster of what he had planned by way of designs for 2011 Rugby World Cup. Telling us how "stoked" he was to be working on the project, the seven designs have finally arrived and we love them.
"They wanted me to locate Rugby World Cup 2011 both culturally and geographically in New Zealand and to give it that Kiwiana flavour," says Frizzell. "I just dived into the nostalgic history and applied all my own motifs to the culture of Rugby in New Zealand."
One of our favourite designs is ‘The Kia Kaha Kid’, who plays out the moves of the Haka in a cartoonish style reminiscent of Frizzell's famous Four Square man. With Frizzell's son Otis referring to the Kia Kaha Kid as the "son of the Four Square man", Frizzell puts the likeness down to "something about the way I draw". The artist says he originally wanted to use the Four Square man because of his associated history with the character, but because of complications associated with copyrights, he dropped the idea. It was his wife who gave him the inspiration he needed to create a new character.
"Jude (my wife) suggested I design a completely new character, which I thought would be a bit odd because it wouldn't have the Kiwiana history. But Jude assured me it would if 'I' did it. So there he is—already feeling like a real character. "
And what of the Kia Kaha kid's moves? Frizzell says it was his best selling Pukeko in a Ponga Tree book that gave him the haka poses he needed.
Another design incorporates a number of Rugby World Cup balls that together form the face of a tiki. Frizzell describes this design as his big eureka moment.
"I spotted the potential for a tiki reading in the official IRB rugby ball image. I printed it out six times and (almost holding my breath in excitement) with very little manipulation produced 'Logo Tiki'—how magic was that?!"
The very cool nostalgic ‘Two Halves and Four Quarters’ design harks back to that by-gone tradition of a bowl of orange segments at half time. Frizzell jokes that is was his grandson's Saturday morning soccer game that literally handed him the idea on a plate.
"Out came the oranges at halftime. All you have to do is keep your mind and eyes open. And I always have my camera with me."
The 'It Aint Tiddlywinks' design refers to Tana Umaga's famous quip when commenting on Rugby's bruising and confrontational nature.
"I've had a fantastic time working on this project," says Frizzell. "I really hope people enjoy the results because I'm absolutely stoked about the whole thing."
Ross Munro of Sportfolio—the official sportswear supplier for RWC 2011—collaborated with Frizzell and his agent John Gow of Gow Langsford Gallery to develop an apparel range using the artworks.
"It's been a pleasure having Dick Frizzell on board and creating such a quirky, iconic collection that is already getting an amazing response," says Munro. And Munro sums up the designs perfectly when he says: "The designs are distinctive, imaginative and laid-back, in other words typically Kiwi."
You’ll find Frizzell's designs gracing a range of t-shirts and hoodies, and they’ll also be available as a limited edition boxed set of art prints.