Untitled [MacKillop College windows]


Colin McCahon



  • Window(s)


  • Glass
  • Paint


  • 2 windows, each: H930 x W930mm

Colin McCahon, ‘Untitled [MacKillop College windows]’ (1977), John Paul College, Utuhina, Rotorua

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022. Reproduced with permission courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust.


A plaque accompanying the windows states:

“McCahon designed the windows for a dozen buildings designed by architect James Hackshaw, most of them for the Catholic Church. These two windows were made for the chapel at MacKillop College in 1977. McCahon drew some inspiration for these windows from the windows in the wharenui Tamakekapua at Te Papaiouru Marae, Ohinemutu.

'Good glass holds your hands up high and a certain glory filters through your fingers.' – Colin McCahon in a letter to Peter McLeavey in 1976. McLeavey Gallery Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington”

John Paul College was founded in 1987 with the amalgamation of Edmund Rice College and MacKillop College. The work was moved to the newly built Thurston Performing Arts Centre in 2020. When re-sited glass was installed in front of the windows for protection. Some paint is missing, but existing paint was rejuvenated during the moved. Now the windows are back lit by dimmer lights.