Old treasures under the roof
Re-roofing this week — old house, big, dirty job.
One thing tossed on the wood heap is a bit different — it’s a sculpture I commissioned from an adult student at Waiariki Polytech for $100, a replica of a flagpole used by Ma¯ ori in the land wars.
I intended it for the second tour of my play Hiroki’s Song but decided to go with a scaffolding and iron set by late sculptor Robert Leger, a student on the same Ma¯ ori art and design course.
It’s stood like a sentinel on the roof’s highest point for almost 30 years and, according to the roofer, could’ve caused the leaks around the bay window below.
Also taken down temporarily is Jill’s print of The Drunken Boat, recalling the rotting dinghy I stood on the lawn painted with lines from Rimbaud’s famous poem. It fell over sometime during a winter storm and was burnt on an outdoor fire.
Older still, weathered but still standing by the drive, is a manaia (bird) carved from a to¯ tara gatepost from Wellington’s historic Terrace Gaol. It was carved by publisher Roger Steele — Rotorua born, one-time city councillor — and painted by me.
Then there’s the letterbox I made from an apple crate, big enough to take parcels.
The original had a tuatara painted on it, dot-style, like Aboriginal art. The current one’s an exact copy, blue and white, the colours of the Greek flag.
■ Brian Potiki is a local artist and poet.