A Phoenix in the Fowl Run by A R D Fairburn


While our Frances Hodgkins exhibition remains closed, let's hear Mary Kisler, its curator, reading a poem about one of the works that is in it.

First published as an occasional piece in Parson's Packet, the magazine published by Wellington bookseller Roy Parsons, it passes a savage commentary on the rejection of Pleasure Garden. It appeared in Fairburn's Collected Poems with this dry observation: 

The Art Gallery Committee of the Christchurch City Council rejected 'The Pleasure Garden', by Frances Hodgkins, on the advice of three experts. (It was later bought by public subscription and now hangs, without much civic honour, in the McDougall Gallery.)

Well it now hangs in our gallery with considerable honour but with the lights off and no visitors to see it. We long for this to change and continued hand-washing will hasten that happening.