Young Wellington artist's tribute to Christchurch terror attack victims goes viral

NZ 18/03/2019

The striking image of two women embracing, one a Muslim wearing a hijab, has struck a cord with Kiwis with thousands of shares online.

The piece, which says "This is your home and you should have been safe here," was drawn by Ruby Jones, a 25-year-old artist based in Wellington.

The artist, who shared her original artwork on social media, said she wanted to capture how she and the rest of the country felt after Christchurch's tragic terror attacks, and that drawing was the "only way I know how to cope with this world."

Ruby told Buzzfeed News "When the events in Christchurch started unfolding, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing, just going in and out of shock and tears and anger."

"It felt like the only thing I could do in that moment was put a tiny speckle of warmth out there for anyone who needed it," she said.

Describing the symbolism of her image, she shared that "a hug, although small, is a symbol of love and togetherness and warmth."

The artwork has been shared thousands of times on social media, shared by celebs like Taika Waititi and Gigi Hadid, printed and posted to mosques, and even redrawn on vigil messages.

In response, Ruby has received messages from people all over the world, moved by her drawing.

"So many messages have made me cry, from people all around the world just saying it's exactly how they're feeling, and that seeing themselves in the image means a lot," Ruby said.