As the rebuild of the Christchurch Town Hall was coming to a close, curators from Canterbury Museum tackled the task of reinstalling Pat Hanly’s mural “Rainbow Pieces.”

This massive mural is 2.5m x 78m long and made up of 50 individual panels. Painted in 1971 under commission from Sir Miles Warren, the mural was originally installed in the Town Hall without guidance from the artist, resulting in some of the panels not being fitted in their planned positions. On review Pat Hanly considered that the rearrangement enhanced his work’s “vibrant spontaneity” and the placement remained unchanged. His watercolour study which accompanied the original proposal illustrates his intention.

Some of the panels of the mural; note the figure outline to the right for scale.
Source: Pat Hanly, watercolour: proposal for Rainbow Pieces (1971); from Art News NZ (Spring 2012).

When the Town Hall was extensively damaged in the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, the mural was brought down and packed away for safe keeping while renovations were underway.

Workmen prepare the panels for installation
(Source: David Walker / Stuff, 27 June 2018)

In mid 2018 Zinterlock was chosen as the fixture solution for hanging the 50 panels in the rebuilt upstairs foyer. Ease of fixture and security were of paramount concern. Full length Zinterlock cleats were attached to the wall at three heights. Shorter cleats were fixed to the rear of the panels, and each panel was then lifted into place on the wall.

The Town Hall reopened for business on 23 February 2019, although restoration works will continue until August. With the mural now back on view, visitors to the venue can again enjoy this unique art installation.

Zinterlock supports large mural
Pat Hanly’s mural “Rainbow Pieces”, suspended on Zinterlock split battens at Christchurch Town Hall.
(Source: Sarelle / Christchurch City Libraries, 23 Feb 2019)