On the road going up to Don Driver’s funeral earlier this week we remembered a very funny situation we got ourselves into when we were visiting him at the end of the seventies. We were gathering material for the book Contemporary New Zealand Painters. It was based on interviews and visits to artists' studios but the trouble was that Don was not really given to talking about his work. We sat with him for most of a morning on a couch in his living room trying to get some words out of the man. By mid-afternoon we were desperate and suggested we visit the studio hoping this would loosen his tongue. Not a chance.
Finally, when we were pushing hard about the materials he was using, Don looked up and said, “Sacramental.” Sacramental. That'll do. We figured we could write a whole Don Driver book around sacramental. “In what way sacramental?” we asked him. Don gave one of his classic shrugs. “What I said was sack and metal”. Ok.