New Zealander, b.1931, d.2013
Dawn/Water Poem 1986
Dawn/Water Poem brings together the work of two of New Zealand’s pre-eminent artists – painter Ralph Hotere and poet Bill Manhire. It was made at a time of strong protest against the French nuclear testing programme carried out on the Pacific atoll of Mururoa during the 1980s. Hotere has taken Manhire’s poem of the same name and transformed it into a visual experience. The collaboration has produced a pointedly beautiful political statement. In nautical terms, an ‘x’ means ‘keep away’. To Manhire’s repeated word ‘sunrise’ Hotere has added ‘Mururoa’, using a vivid red to suggest apocalypse, anger and sacrifice.
Hotere was born in Mitimiti, in the far north of New Zealand. He first studied art in Dunedin but in 1961 won a scholarship to study at the Central School of Art in London. Since the 1970s he has lived at Port Chalmers.
Purchased with assistance from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, 1986
Reproduced courtesy of Ralph Hotere
Acrylic on canvas
View other works by Ralph Hotere This work featured in the set Missing items on My Gallery.