studio catherine griffiths


Catherine Griffiths’ poster for Hone Tuwhare’s ‘Rain’



Kris Sowersby’s poster.

Sarah Maxey’s poster.

Catherine Griffiths’ poster.

Matt Galloway’s poster.

A note on the posters

The Hone Tuwhare Charitable 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. As Kris says, 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.

On my contribution: My response was fairly visceral, more about feeling my way with Hone’s voice and words ... a certain synchronicity to do with time and place — ‘Rain’ and rain both spoke to me in the pitch black forest of a very wet winter spent living in one of our two studio sheds that we had built only months before. When the cold rain hit the big square black window, it would leave perfectly-formed, parallel traces of glistening droplets on a certain slant (as rain does), and there I saw ‘Rain’ set out on the pane. I typed out Hone’s words in Kris’s newly released Pitch (this was 2012), a monospaced typewriter face, in vertical formation, and there it was. As it turns out, Apollinaire saw the same a century ago, with his work ‘Il Pleut’*. It’s what rain does.

On our collaboration: It was very much a personal engagement with the work of Hone Tuwhare, entering into his world, and feeling a certain responsibility to make a work worthy of his words. Less collaborative between us at that point — burrowing away then reappearing with each of our works — yet taking part in something mutual, and later in a more practical way (decisions around process and production and so forth) made for a really nice collective project. I thoroughly enjoyed the process with Steve Lovett, learning about the colour of black ink and — black ink! Of light and reflective colour in the ink. The banter between us as a group and with Noel was a pleasure to be part of. I’m sure Hone would have approved. 


* / a note on ‘Il Pleut’ for those wondering: until it was kindly raised by someone who purchased one of my limited edition prints, this is a work that I was not aware of having ever seen. Yet, the coincidences between the two works suggest perhaps I had seen it — even for me it’s hard to imagine I hadn’t, given the field I work in. But, I can say with hand on heart, that when responding to ‘Rain’, what I made came from an authentic place, the work of Apollinaire was not even in my frame. While nothing comes out of a vacuum, I’d like to offer this back to what we may observe — it is what rain does.





03 other in(ter)ventions

an international typography symposium, Wellington, NZ

typ gr ph c
a series of compact workshops, Karekare, NZ

installations, exhibitions

7/7, 14 views
Te Tuhi Project Wall, 2023, Aotearoa NZ

Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition, 2017, CHINA

A whakapapa, two lines of women, an installation drawing
All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2016, NZ

Installation with mirror and line
transitionalfieldwork, an exhibition, 2016, NZ

only U know ...
collaboration, Lela Jacobs AW17 Auckland, and SS17 Paris collection, NZ + FR

installation, Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale, Seoul, KR

The Tuwhare Poster Project
fund-raiser for the Hone Tuwhare Trust Writers Residency, NZ

memento :: motif
Proyecto de Arte Contemporáneo Alzheimer, Valparaíso, Chile

The Phone Book
a maquette, for the Club de Conversation project

Club de Conversation at S/F with Dino Chai, Auckland, NZ

Club de Conversation: Keyhole Series and Dials
rug series, Dilana Workshop, NZ

Sound Tracks
installation, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, NZ

The Jets
short film, Paris, France


posters, protest, statements

The Best Design Awards
three posters, 2018, NZ

Labour of Love
another word-play poster, 2018, NZ

W in black
drawings in progress, 2017, NZ/FR

The Alphabet
front page takeover of the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper for 26 days, Fitchburg, USA

The Brexit Series
a word-play poster series in response to Brexit

Raising the Flag
contemplative, suggestive — design unravelled, NZ

Protest Vessel 1/2 PRICE
a collaboration with ceramic artist Raewyn Atkinson, NZ


The Hone Tuwhare Trust Posters: a fundraiser

Editioned set of four screen-prints featuring selected poems/haiku by Hone Tuwhare — designed by Matt Galloway, Catherine Griffiths, Sarah Maxey and Kris Sowersby


Organised by Noel Waite for The Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust, this is a pre-launch glimpse into the film and screen-printing process by Steve Lovett and assistant/student Winston Shacklock, at Manakau Institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts. Printed on Fabriano paper, using vegetable based ink from rice, gum Arabic, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), vinegar and toners.

Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust


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