Here at the Depot we mourn the passing of Barry Brickell, potter, painter, engineer, conservationist, writer, wrerter*, all-round genius, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s greatest Vernacularist; but first and foremost our dearest and most beloved friend.
Barry was a regular visitor to the Depot during his residencies at the Michael King Writers’ Centre. He came for catch-ups, cups of tea and ongoing instruction on use of his lap top, which, for all his competence in every other field, he had never managed to master. He preferred his manual typewriter claiming that it was more attuned to his modus operandi, of long deliberation as inspiration or epiphany arose. During this process his work on computer, which he continually forgot to save, would disappear, never to be retrieved, a source of continual frustration.
Despite technological challenges Barry nevertheless produced some wonderful written material and we were honoured to launch two of his books here, Rails Towards the Sky and Plastic Memories. We also hosted Barry’s sell-out exhibition, My Last Ever Pottery Sale? in July, 2014, whose title sadly turned out to be prophetic.
Farewell dear Barry, you will remain with us at the heart of the Depot, which cherishes your values, your amazing achievements and your unique place in the world.
*Barry’s definition of wrerting is word-murdering. ‘Wrerting is an essential escape from writing, which has certain rules whereas wrerting has none. Hence it gives me much pleasure. The best wrerting is done on a warm summer evening, stark naked with a glass of pinot noir in hand.’