The Rainbow


Shona McFarlane



  • Window(s)


  • Glass


  • H4000 x W12000

Shona McFarlane, ‘The Rainbow’ (1976), Westfield Manukau City Mall, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

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


Information installed with the work reads:

“This striking stained glass window was designed by artist Shona McFarlane. 'The Rainbow' window measures 12 x 4 metres and took almost a year to complete.

"The design depicts rainbows showering over the Manukau Harbour and landscape. The two lighter panels to the left represent a ‘window in the window’ looking through the rainbows to clouds with houses, trees and harbour below. This day section is balanced by the night sky and moon in the right hand panels.

"The artist designed the window to add a happy and colourful atmosphere to the Centre and it is placed to gain full advantage of sun and clouds which give movement to the window as the light changes. In late afternoon especially, the colours of the window cast splashes of colour on to the floor of the forecourt and even onto the surrounding pillars. The window was installed in 1976 and is one of the largest stained glass windows in New Zealand.”

Designed by McFarlane and constructed by Roy Miller (Miller Studios) as 40 panels, each approximately 1.2㎡ square each, this work depicts several interlaced rainbows arching over a landscape of houses in the foreground, a harbour and line of hills in the distance.

Of the work McFarlane said: "One of the nicest things about this it is the way the colours reflect in windows and pillars right around the central court and in the late afternoons the colours stretch over the white tiled floors and children jump about in the different colour patches."

~ Cited from New Zealand Potter 1978 v.20 n.1, p37

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