Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

05 February 2012

New Zealand Odyssey: St. Mary's, Hokitika

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings. This is the penultimate post.

I have always had great difficulty reconciling the humble manger beginnings of Christianity with the sumptuous prodigality of church architecture. I think Christ would be appalled at St.Peter's in Rome and would be no less amazed at St. Mary's in Hokitika which seems to me to be not so much a tribute to Christ as a monument to Man's self-regard.

It took from 1914 to 1928 to finish, interrupted by the Great War. It reflects the auriferous wealth of Westland, a province that was dug up for gold from Karamea to Fiordland. Today exactly as it was in 1989, when I did this sketch, St.Mary's, in small town Hokitika, stands out like a clumsy tall man among pygmies.


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By Don Donovan