Futuna Lecturer Announced for 2020 – Francis Kéré

Prof. Francis Kere; Professur ‘Architectural Design and Participation’, Fakultaet fuer Architektur an der Technischen Universitaet Muenchen (TUM); fotografiert am Lehrstuhal am 18.02.2019; Foto: © Astrid Eckert / TU Muenchen; Verwendung frei fuer die Berichterstattung ueber die TU Muenchen unter Nennung des Copyrights

It is with great pleasure and excitement that the Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust announce the Futuna Lecturer for the 2020 Futuna Lecture Series.  This will be the 10th year of the Lecture Series and the candidate who has accepted our invitation promises to be one of great interest. Originally from Burkina Faso and now practising in Berlin, architect Francis Kéré will deliver three lectures in New Zealand.  Attracting Francis to New Zealand has been greatly assisted by Lindsay Johnston Convenor of the Architecture Foundation Australia (AFA) and Ewan Mc Eoin Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria. (NGV).  Not only will Francis be giving three lectures in NZ but he will also be the keynote speaker and participant at Deerubbin 2020 (AFA) and will be giving a lecture at the NGV during during Melbourne Design Week.

The Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust wish to thank our sponsors for their support without which we would not be able to host the Futuna Lecture Series. This is the 10th consecutive year for the Lecture Series and is our major annual fundraiser for the Trust and for the continuing restoration and maintenance of the Chapel.


Fri 13th – Sunday 15th March: Deerubbin – Milson Island, Hawkesbury River NSW.
Tues 17 March: Lecture – Melbourne Design Week – NGV, Melbourne
Weds 18 March: Futuna Lecture – St. Matthews-in-the-City – Auckland, NZ.
Friday 20 March: Futuna Lecture – St. Andrew’s College Chapel – Christchurch NZ
Saturday 21 March: Futuna Lecture – Futuna Chapel – Wellington, NZ


Tickets are now on sale:

Auckland ticket link http://www.dashtickets.co.nz/event/s30rk1dfp
Christchurch ticket link http://www.dashtickets.co.nz/event/4b16h0v38
Wellington ticket link http://www.dashtickets.co.nz/event/mypkxn10t

See link below for more information on Francis Kéré



Futuna Annual Open Day 2020– Public Talk

Ron Brownson

Ron Brownson is Senior Curator New Zealand and Pacific Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.  He has worked long-term as a professional curator and is an expert on New Zealand and Pacific art with has a particular interest in photography.

The most amazing discovery for me was the Futuna Chapel in Wellington, “one of the most spiritual interiors in all New Zealand”, as Ron describes it. It was designed by John Scott, with windows by Jim Allen that cast shimmering patterns of coloured light on the walls, which in the course of the day move across a large scale, magnificent mahogany Christ figure, also Allen’s work. This “very emotional, very passionate work”, to use Ron’s words, was missing for 12 years, stolen, but happily it was recovered and reinstated in the chapel.


Ron has initiated many exhibition and publication projects including John Kinder Photographs, Rita Angus, 1950s Auckland Photographers, Ioane Ioane Fale Sa, Ross T. Smith, John Pule, Marti Friedlander Photographs, Pat Hanly – Pure Painting, L. Budd et al, Eric Le Johnson  – Opo the Hokianga Dolphin, Gretchen Albrecht, Fiona Pardington, Le Fauluga – Pacific artists from New Zealand, Self and Other: The Expressionist Spirit in New Zealand Art, Tribute: Visual artists celebrated by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, Fiona Pardington Proud Flesh, Open Skies Divided Horizons, Greg Semu O Le Tatau Samoa, Colin McCahon’s Titirangi, Fatu Feu’u, Golden – Celebrating 50 Years of the Friends of the Gallery (with Jane Davidson Ladd) Michael Smither The Wonder Years, Through the Eyes of Shirin Neshat, In Shifting Light, John Kinder’s New Zealand, Local Revolutionaries: Art & Change 1965–1986 (with Mary Kisler), Partner Dance: Gifts from the Patrons of the Gallery (with Natasha Conland), Choi Jeong Hwa Flower Chandelier, Te Wā Tōiri: Fluid Horizons, Home AKL – artists of Pacific Heritage at Auckland (with Kolokesa Mahina Tuai, Nina Tonga and Ema Tavola), Kinder’s Presence: John Kinder, Mark Adams, Chis Corson Scott, Haruhiko Sameshima, Robert Ellis – Turangawaewae: A Place to Stand, Ralph Hotere’s Godwit Kuaka, The Extra Ordinary Everyday in New Zealand Art, Len Casbolt – From Soft Focus to Sharp Vision, A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland.

Ron Brownson edited ART TOI – New Zealand art in the collection of Auckland Art Gallery, a comprehensive profile of local art.

Open Sundays are continuing throughout 2020 from 11am–3.00pm

The Trust is pleased to confirm that the programme of having the Chapel open on the first Sunday of the month will continue throughout 2020.  The Chapel will be open between 11am and 3pm every Sunday except those date for which the Chapel is hosting the Futuna Concert Series.

Click here  for more info about Open Sundays for 2020

Colours of Futuna Concert Series

Click here for more information about the 2020 Concert Series.

John Scott’s Chapel of Futuna

In 1958, six years into his private practice, Hawke’s Bay architect John Scott was commissioned by the Society of Mary to design a chapel for their spiritual retreat in Karori, Wellington.

Built by the Brothers of the Society themselves, and embellished by Auckland sculptor Jim Allen, Futuna Chapel opened in 1961 and immediately became a talking point among architects and a mecca for aspiring members of the profession.

In the 50 years since, this little private building hidden away the Wellington suburb of Karori has become generally regarded as an architectural masterpiece and perhaps the most complete example of a true modern ‘indigenous’ New Zealand design.

Nearly Lost

In 2000, the Society of Mary had no further use for the Futuna complex and sold it to developers. While the 66 residential units now forming Futuna Village were being built, the chapel itself was used as a materials store. While tarnished, most of the fixtures and fittings remain in good condition. In 2000 Jim Allen’s magnificent Jesus figure disappeared from the Chapel and remained at large for 12 years until its recovery in 2012.

Concern about the building’s future came from many quarters, but not until the Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust was formed and negotiations with the developers began in earnest was it possible to say that this valuable part of our culture was almost safe.

Safe at last – but money still required!

Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust has now completed the purchase of the Chapel and the parcel of land that it sits on.  The Trust’s main task now is to raise the required funds to complete the planned exterior restoration, and to ensure the future maintenance and operation of the building. You can learn about donating to the Trust here.

Join the Society!

The Friends of Futuna Society has been established by the Trust with the aim of seeking membership from the national and local community to assist with the ongoing maintenance and operating costs of the chapel, support events as well as contribute to the funding of the establishment and maintenance of a Futuna Chapel/John Scott Archive. Membership of the Society will be through an annual subscription. – learn more about the Society here.