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A dozen wonderful Icons now up

4 October 2017

Four more icons have gone up around Hastings city centre – celebrating people, ideas and industries with strong attachments to Hastings.

The four new ones are dancer and actress Nyree Dawn Porter, musician Bruno Lawrence, WWII flying ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain and world-class cyclist Vern Hanaray.

They join eight already installed on walls across the city in the last year.

Artist Adrian Thornton has completed all the works, on subjects ranging from artists Dick Frizzell and Rita Angus, to racehorse trainer Granny Maher and businessman Sir James Wattie.

“Our icons are not necessarily the most famous or the most successful but they’re all interesting in their own way. They illustrate the depth of story and history in Hastings, and probably all provincial towns, once you start to scratch the surface,” Thornton said.

Writer and project manager Jessica Soutar Barron has researched and written the short histories of each of the subjects. “Adrian and I both have our favourites, they're the people whose stories chime with us personally. It's a project of personal connection to place and to community.”

The project is run by Arts Inc (formerly Creative Hastings), supported by Hastings District Council.

Acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the icons celebrated the contribution of people to Hastings’ history. “A place is about its people, both from the past and today, who have influenced the way we have developed.

“It is a real pleasure to see people enjoying them, especially the young hearing stories they may otherwise not have been aware of.”

Of the latest group, Edgar Kain was a Hastings lad who many people would not have heard of. Born in 1918 he learnt to fly at age 18 before heading off to England where he joined the Royal Air Force just as WWII was starting. Nicknamed Cobber by his squadron colleagues for his affable nature, he performed with distinction during the war and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was 21 years old when he died in a crash while performing an aerobatic display.

For the stories of all the icon subjects access the QR code on the artworks as you find them in the central city, or see: www.artsinc.co.nz/projects/hastings-icons

8 October 2017

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