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Tupare's soul on show

Monday 4 April 2011, 9:27AM
By Taranaki Regional Council


In the era of automation, it’s rare to find a house which has next to nothing that’s off a production line.

But Tupare homestead in New Plymouth is one of those places, and this Saturday (9 April) brings an opportunity for a close-up look at the house and its furnishings, and to hear about the philosophy behind their creation.

The free two-hour event will include:

  • A presentation on the Arts and Crafts Movement that inspired architect James Chapman-Taylor, who designed Tupare in the 1930s.
  • A house tour led by renowned furniture craftsman Wally Briggs, who will discuss the finer detail of individual features.
  • Refreshments and question time.

“Tupare is a unique and wonderful combination – a stately homestead whose design and construction techniques arose out of what we would call an anti-establishment movement, but one that long pre-dates the rebellious 1960s,” says the Taranaki Regional Council’s Regional Gardens Manager, Greg Rine.

“The Arts and Crafts Movement first arose in England in the 1880s as a reaction to industrialisation, and advocated traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration.

“This international movement was influential right up until the 1930s and beyond, and had a significant bearing on Chapman-Taylor’s career as builder, furniture designer, carpenter and architect. Frank Lowry, of Friends of Tupare, will cover this in Saturday’s presentation.”

He says Mr Briggs, a master furniture craftsman in his own right, will point out and explain details of the homesteads hand-made furnishings and fittings.

“It will be a special evening and a chance to learn more about one of Taranaki’s premier heritage properties,” says Mr Rine.

Saturday’s event begins at 4pm. While it is free, space is limited. To book a place, call 0800 736 222 and ask to speak to Delia or Georgie.