WelCom June/July 2023
Fr David Orange is well known around Lower Hutt as a landscape artist. He has had many exhibitions over nearly 60 years in the priesthood but his work pictured here is what is known as Scrafito. It involves several layers of plaster and with the trowel each part of the picture is carved. The subject is of St Martin of Tours giving half his cloak to a beggar. The story is that Martin, preparing to become a Christian came across a beggar in freezing weather, so he removed his cloak, cut it in half with his sword and gave it to him. That night he experienced a vision of Christ saying: ‘Martin, a mere catechumen has clothed me.’ In light of that story, David regards this work as one of his most useful in aiding the cause of social justice.
Fifty years ago, the-then parish priest at Pungarehu in Taranaki, Fr Barney Keegan, invited David to let go of his brushes and try something different. A close-up look of the work reveals a battle with coastal weather in Taranaki. Several screws have been inserted into the work to keep it together. Since moving out of Taranaki in 1974, David had never, until recently, returned to inspect his work. Recently, while visiting an old friend in Taranaki, he made a journey around the mountain. Let’s hope this work of art will inspire many for years to come.