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Rain returns to Richardson building

Monday, 15 July 2013 8:05am

rain hanging image
Burns Fellow David Howard who read Hone Tuwhare’s poem Rain at an event to celebrate the hanging of a reproduction of Ralph Hotere's painting Rain in the foyer of the Richardson building.

Rain has returned to the University’s Richardson building.

A reproduction of Ralph Hotere’s large and imposing painting was hung in the building’s foyer last week, replacing the original which will remain in the Hocken Library.

The three-panelled piece was originally commissioned for the Richardson building (then the Hocken building) in 1979, but was removed in 2007 due to deterioration.

Light, temperature and wind conditions in the Richardson mean the restored original cannot be re-hung there, but Summer School and Continuing Education Director Elaine Webster, who has been a driving force behind the replacement of the painting, says it is important for the building to house at least a version of the work since it was intended to hang there.

“It’s very pleasing to see this come to fruition through the efforts of so many people, and wonderful to have Ralph Hotere and Hone Tuwhare back in the building,” Dr Webster says.

Dr Webster says the University of the Third Age Dunedin (U3A) provided the money for the reproduction as a way of thanking Otago staff who give their time contributing to their programme.

The curators from the Hocken, Property Services and the Hotere Foundation Trust have also played a significant role in its return.

Rain comprises three five-metre high banners, incorporating the poem Rain by former University Robert Burns Fellow, the late Hone Tuwhare.

At an event to celebrate the return of Rain last Friday the University’s current Burns Fellow, David Howard, read the full poem and commented on the strong friendship between Hotere and Tuwhare. Several others also spoke, including Hocken Pictorial Collection Curator Natalie Poland, Chair of the Hotere Foundation Trust Judith Ablett-Kerr and Property Services’ Jenny Ross.