dunedin days

Port Chalmers
Port Chalmers

It was a stunningly beautiful day in Dunedin when we went for a walk along the mole at Aramoana.

This mole is at the head of the Otago harbour (a bastardisation of Otakou) but an area made significant by the works of Ralph Hotere and Bill Culbert in their work Aramoana Pathway to the sea.

The sea, still wild looking, provided a background for a view of the Otago heads, the white dots of albatrosses and the lighthouse opposite and the village of Otakou.

Later we visited Purakaunui (big sticks of wood) which is now suitably revived with two macrons and an u. For years it was known as Purakanui. Now that Ngai Tahu have their claim the old names have been revived. Like Murdering Beach now happily restored to Whareakaeake.

Later we visited the hill on which Ralph Hotere had his studio. I last visited this hill in about 1996 when his studio was still there and had not known of the Hotere Trust’s work which enabled some beautiful planting and the re-installation of three sculptures which I had seen in his garden.

Shona Rapira-Davies
Shona Rapira-Davies

Russell Moses
Russell Moses
Jeff Thompson
Jeff Thompson

The feeling was the same as in 1996 and nearby, I gather, is his studio, suitably camouflaged by a cocoon of a building.

It was indeed, an inspiring day. The reintroduction of a name, the reintroduction of sculpture and the return of feeling.

Let’s hope that there can be a conjunction of his work, the nearby Aramoana, and his diaries and workbooks not to mention his works held by the nearby and suitable related Hocken Library.

Kia ora ki a koe e Ralph, mo te aroha, nga hinengaro me nga mahi ataahua.

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