Shane Cotton

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1964
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Hine, Te Uri Taniwha, Māori

The Haymaker Series I–V

  • Collections of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu and Dunedin Public Art Gallery (with funding from Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society). Jointly purchased 2015.
  • Acrylic on linen
  • 2200 x 9000mm
  • 2015/027:1-5
  • 2012

Haymaker suggests the act of making at the right moment in time. It’s also a boxing term for a powerful punch. In this massive, psychedelic, sci-fi-like painting, Shane Cotton has gathered together signs, symbols and references with elements from past paintings and unloaded them into the ether of te pito o te ao, the centre of the Māori universe. Time, power, Māori culture and tradition, semiotics and art history all play out across these five panels.The carved wooden figure shown in the first panel is Arnold Manaaki Wilson’s 1956 'He Tangata, He Tangata', Cotton’s homage to this pioneering Māori artist he respected greatly. The final panel of the work is titled Staging Post, and suggests a moment for taking account and preparing to set forth again. Here Cotton acknowledges two contemporary Māori artists, both of whom feature in Te Wheke – Peter Robinson (the chain) and Michael Parekowhai (the doe).

(Te Wheke, 2020)