Darcy Nicholas

UHPC 1/17, Acrylic, 630mm (h) x 785mm (w)

Pumpkin Cottage ceased being an artists' retreat in 1949, when it accommodated families working for St Patrick's College. By 1975 it was dilapidated. Darcy Nicholas, of Kahui Maunga, Te Atiawa, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Haua and Tauranga Moana tribes, was having a drink with his father-in-law at the RSA in Upper Hutt in 1975, when talk turned to the threatened demolition of the cottage. On his way home to Taita he stopped at the empty cottage and began this painting.

Nicholas depicted the artistic icon at the height of the campaign to save it. Its chimney may have crumbled but, bathed in light, its proud history and spirit remained.

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