Signs and Messages


Elizabeth Stevens



  • Window(s)


  • Glass


  • H2600 x W2040mm

Elizabeth Stevens, 'Signs and Messages' (c.1982), Dunedin Hospital, Ōtepoti

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


“Miller Studios of Dunedin made 'Signs and Messages'. Slab-glass was especially imported from England for the primary window, which incorporates thick jewel-like studs of coloured glass that have enhanced reflective qualities. The secondary window, which is less ornate design, is primarily of industrial, bronze “Cotswold” glass with six, horizontal strips of pot-metal coloured glass. The Chapel provides many opportunities to reflect on the meaning behind certain symbols and alludes to the way classical rhetoric and memory systems developed. Accordingly, the primary window of 'Signs And Messages' can be enjoyed for its effect of light as well as for contemplation. Stevens’ work also references an era when stained-glass windows in churches and cathedrals communicated stories from scripture. 'Signs and Messages' utilises Christian iconography, including the Jerusalem cross, which represents faith and healing and the zigzag lines that stand for flowing water, cleansing and baptism, as indicated in explanatory text near the work.”

Panirau Mulligan, C. E. (2014). The Dunedin Hospital Art Collection: Architecture, Space and Wellbeing (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. p.122-123

The work was commissioned with funds from the Russell Henderson Trust, and funds raised by the Dunedin Amenities Society and The Zonta Club of Dunedin. The Arai Te Uru Marae Council (Wakari, Dunedin) was also involved.

Access restrictions: requirements relating to public health may apply (i.e. wearing of masks etc). 

The hospital is generally open to the public from the time appointments begin, (approx. 8-8.30am Monday to Friday) and visiting hours are 2-8pm daily. The Hospital Chapel is a consecrated Christian space, and works in this space should be approached accordingly.