Hone Tuwhare Trust Posters

8 April 2016


The Hone Tuwhare Trust was established in 2010 with a simple kaupapa, ‘To inspire people through the preservation, promotion and celebration of Hone’s legacy.’ Hone Tuwhare was a renowned poet, but he was many other things beside: husband, father, boilermaker, soldier, scholar and lover of people and this land. Through his writings and readings at halls, schools and prisons across New Zealand he brought an emotive and humbling poetry into many people’s lives. In his later life, he chose to settle in a crib at Kaka Point in the Catlins.

The Trust is trying to raise funds to redevelop Hone’s crib into a writer’s residency. These posters represent a key component of the fundraising effort: four limited edition posters by four New Zealand designers to be sold at auction.

The brief was simple: find a Hone Tuwhare poem that you like and make a poster from it. It was daunting working with Hone’s words: negotiating the balance between honouring and extending them through a visual interpretation. While each work focuses attention on the words they all feel recognisable as products of our respective practices.

Matt Galloway: The Southern Cross is a marker of identity, and a tool for navigation. In ‘Roads’ Tuwhare takes the reader on a non-linear journey through his experience. I used the Southern Cross in place of all letter ‘t’s in the poem, accentuating the mix of confusion and clarity in the words.

Catherine Griffiths: ‘Rain’ and rain — a visceral synchronicity of a wet winter spent living in the pitch black forest in my studio, and the cold rain hitting the big black square window leaving perfectly-formed parallel traces of glistening droplets on a certain slant. I saw ‘Rain’ set out on the pane.

Kris Sowersby: Inside my copy of Tuwhare’s ‘Come Rain Hail’ with a superb Ralph Hotere cover is a hand-written letter to Yvonne du Fresne from Tuwhare. I scanned the cover and the letter. The circle is from the cover. Tuwhare’s poem, ‘Haiku’, is assembled from his own atmospheric, spidery handwriting.

Sarah Maxey: Tuwhare visited our school assembly in 1982, craftily slipping the word ‘fuck’ into our morning—the best thing to happen all year. I chose Haiku for its sexy naughtiness, using fast and fluid lettering that conveys its potent message by stealth, the same way he disrupted assembly 33 years ago.

The posters can be purchased here.


Kris Sowersby’s poster.


Sarah Maxey’s poster.


Catherine Griffiths’s poster.


Matt Galloway’s poster.


Detail from Catherine Griffiths’s poster.


Detail from Kris Sowersby’s poster.


Detail from Sarah Maxey’s poster.


Detail from Matt Galloway’s poster.