Untitled [Māori Land Court Foyer]


James Turkington



  • Mural


  • Paint
  • Laminated plastic panel (i.e Formica)


  • 5 panels each measuring: H2400 x W1200mm: Total: H2400 x W6000mm

James Turkington, Untitled [Māori Land Court Foyer] (1964), Hauora House, Rotorua

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022


This mural is composed on five panels. Three male figures stand before a textured surface upon which more abstract forms have been painted. These forms are recognisable as historical rock art motifs.

The work is made using James Turkington's innovative method of painted plastic laminate. Importing special, heat and pressure resistant pigments, Turkington ground and mixed his own resin based paints which could be used with either an oil/impasto consistency or diluted to be applied like watercolours. Once treated the resulting mural has a comparable durability, he suggested, to etched glass.

“It was also around this time that Jim [James Turkington] began developing a new technique which would result in the magnificent Maori Land Court mural in Haupapa St, Rotorua amongst numerous others. The process as described by Turkington in Building Progress derived from experiments with layered Formica, which it seems were then sealed in further layers of resin coated kraft paper, this then being pressed together locking in the colours and images.”